Last bonsai

This year both my children are 18 or over and they wanted this small tree for the Christmas tree. “Don’t kill a tree, mom.” they said.

This tree is the last bonsai from my parents. My mother died in 2000 from ovarian cancer. She was at home in hospice for nearly seven weeks and we had over thirty visitors. My sister and my father and I all ignored the plants: and most of the bonsais died with her.

My father cared for the remaining ones even as his health deteriorated. He died at home as he would have wished, in 2013, alone and a sudden death. Two of the three remaining trees died. So this ficus came home with me. I water it faithfully and brought out the small ornaments to decorate for the holidays. I don’t know how old it is. After we lose our parents, we wonder about things: where is this from, how old is it, was it important to you, was it a random gift? Did you buy it, did you love it, was it not something that you cared about?

This holiday ask a family member to tell you a story about something in their house. Ask about something that you like, or is unique, or that really doesn’t fit in. Ask about a piece of art or a piece of furniture or jewelry. And write the stories down for the next generation…. while you can.