Riveting seas of color attracted my attention as I walked into my grandma’s secret garden. As I recall she may have had all the flowers in the world growing in what I called a meticulously landscaped masterpiece. As a child I always loved playing in the garden, hence the fact that it was technically where I was born. Mother was in the garden when she went into labor and she gave birth to me by the sunflower bed. Therefore, it was only appropriate to name me, Sonny.
“Sonny, yes that’s it,” Grandma smiled at her daughter, Evelyn.
“It’s perfect!” Evelyn exclaimed while she beamed at her new born daughter. Father had been by her side, holding her hand. He died a few weeks later in a car accident. It was a terrible blow to mother’s psyche. They were high school sweethearts and had been through so much. Mother fell into a great depression and was unable to care for me, so grandma offered to raise me while mother got help.
So many days and nights were spent in grandma’s garden. It was after all her forte. When I was five, she taught me how to properly plant my first seed. I didn’t know it then but she was teaching me a valuable lesson.
“Sonny, to grow the perfect sunflower you need the sun and good soil” Grandma said to me.
“What’s soil?” I asked
“Soil is dirt, honey” she smiled. The sunflower bed exploded into an infestation of sunflowers over the next 12 years. They had overtaken the garden and they were huge. For grandma’s 85th birthday we decided to have a surprise party in the garden. Mother had gotten better by then. Grandma however had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when I was 12.
“No matter what I forget I will always find my way back to them (Sunflowers).” Grandma told me the day before she died. We were all gathered in the garden for her 85th birthday. My cousins were running around, uncle and aunts were chattering about, and mother was being a great host. I noticed that grandma was nowhere to be seen so I went looking for her. You see her garden was terribly enormous and it would be easy for one to get lost.
“Grandma!” I yelled. Deep in the garden, I saw her lifeless body laying in the bed of sunflowers where I was born. Doctor told us she died of a brain aneurism while trying to find her way back to the party. In her right hand they found a sunflower seed. No matter what she forgot she always found her way back to them.