After we moved into our home on Hillside Avenue, I chatted with our new next door neighbors, Dot and Bob. At the time, Dot was seventy-five years old, Bob, eighty and they both loved gardening. Their home and gardens could have been on the cover of magazines. Dot asked me what I was going to do with the backyard. It was overgrown, weedy, and in need of help. I said I knew nothing about gardening and was planning on replacing everything with grass. I think Dot was horrified because our back yards looked over each other’s. She offered to teach me. I accepted. And here we are.

Years later, Dot developed dementia and was no longer able to identify plants. She had known them by their common names and their Latin names. She also played the piano and thankfully, dementia didn’t take that away. One afternoon, as I was on my knees pulling weeds, I heard her playing “You Raise Me Up.” Of course, I cried.

Dot passed away shortly thereafter. So now, every time I am weeding, I say hello to my friend, lover of all things blooming.

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