Just a couple of days ago I discovered something that really saddened me. I found my beloved ivy plant shriveled and brown. Many times before I have come so very close to killing it, but its always bounced back. However, this time it is surely dead. Crispy, dried, and dead. Its a tragedy...
Not only is it embarrassing to kill a plant that is almost as hard to kill as a cactus, but this plant meant quite a lot to me. I've had it for twelve years and care for it since I was in middle school. When I was fourteen and working as a busgirl at an upscale restaurant I helped work a baby shower. The mom-to-be gave out baby ivy plants to all her guests to care for. The idea was that while she was caring for her baby all her friends and family would have a sentimental plant to care for instead. At the end of the shower, while she was collecting her gifts, there was one plant left. I was cleaning the tables when she came over and offered the last plant to me. With a big smile she insisted I take it, care for it, and help it grow. My fourteen year old self beamed at the gift and excitedly carried out the duty of keeping it alive, if not thriving, for over a decade. The plant went with me from Maryland to college in Vermont, lived in my dorm, traveled to Maine for a summer, lived in my cabin up north, and then came here to the Upper Valley where thus it wilted and died under my lack of care.
Perhaps its only fitting that while I raise and care for my own child the plant I took care of for years would wilt away. It was given with the intention to be cared for instead of a child and now that I have a child of my own the plant has served its purpose.
Or maybe I am just being too sentimental and suck at caring for plants.
I think its the latter.