Way in the back of my front garden, where I sit to watch the annual Alium show unfold, there lives a lovely selection of Columbine.
You might look at these and think "good fill in flower, low maintenancy, hardy, comes back every year" and so forth and so on. When I look at them I think about Charlene. She was one of those very graceful, refined, women I had the pleasure of taking care of in the hospital about 7 years ago. During her stay she had some rough days when she felt terrible. One of the ways she helped herself feel better was by talking about things she was really good at. She taught me about the lovely Columbine and when she died her daughter sent me a package of these seeds from her garden.
I remember Char much more for our talks about gardening and knitting than I do for whatever kind of cancer she had. I paid close attention when she told me about where to plant these and how not to give up because it might take a few years for them to get really established. She sure was right.
Charlene also taught me that people who are sick and dying have stuff they need to pass on, if I just stop, sit down, and listen. That is powerful medicine.