About five years ago my cousin Jennie gave my 94-year old father this little Christmas cactus, after he had a serious fall. He was a resident at Cameron Hall Assisted Living in north Georgia at the time and in the early stages of dementia.
It sat on the window ledge beside his bed, keeping him company with small splashes of pink for a couple of years, until he had to move on to the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home in Augusta. There was no place for the little plant there, so I brought him home for Robert and me to care for.
My dad passed away in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.
The little Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) grew quiet. All green leaves. No tiny pink explosions. Hushed.
But this winter he sprang back to life. He started talking!
“Life goes on. The cycle continues. Just wait, you’ll see.”