Making Peace with the Peace Lily

“What kind of plant do you have there?” the produce stocker asked as I was choosing my bananas.

“I’m not sure what it’s actually called,” I replied.  “But I call it an ‘easy keeper’.  It says it can be moderately dry.”

“Oh, the best kind.  You can forget to water it now and then and it doesn’t matter.”

“Exactly!” I said.  “It’s replacing one that has been nothing but trouble.”

Jeff used to tell me I couldn’t keep anything alive.  I took offense.  That was exaggeration on his part.  Yes, most of my plants died.  But not ALL.  I’ve had a Ficus tree for over 10 years now.  Sure, it’s gone through periods of significant bareness, but I haven’t killed it. 

At Jeff’s funeral what do you suppose I got?  You guessed it – a whole bunch of plants.  I gave many of them away, paring it down to what seemed like a manageable crop.  None of them have died – yet.  But there is one in particular that has been highly needy.  It’s a peace lily.  Complete misnomer there.  There is nothing “peaceful” about caring for a peace lily.  I don’t have enough bad words in my vocabulary to tell you how I really feel about that plant. 

Jeff’s aunt came by one time and commented on my plant.  It happened to be during one of the brief episodes where it was looking exceptionally healthy.  “Oh, how do you keep that plant looking so good?  I have one of those from Jeff’s funeral and I have such trouble with it.  I water it and it gets droopy.  I don’t water it and it gets droopy.  It seems I just can’t give it what it needs.  How do you take care of it?”  I used my customary answer when I have no clue.  It drives my children crazy.  “Yes,”  I said.  She looked at me a little bewildered.  “But how do you keep yours healthy?” she repeated.  And so I repeated my answer, “Yes.”  I really don’t have a clue.  All the moons of Saturn were evidently lined up just right that day and the plant looked good.  I have no other explanation.

Well, this last trip out-of-town played a number on that silly “peace” lily.  It’s not rebounding.  I might be able to save it if I worked at it.  But instead I think I’ll find peace with my peace lily.  The replacement looks easy enough to care for.  The peace lily is going out with the garbage.

Jeff- you win, man.  I killed the *(%^$%!#  plant.

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  1. Lori Harvey

     /  April 5, 2011

    LOL!!!!! I laughed so hard I started coughing!! Only because I had a *%&$(# peace lily after my Dad died. I tried to keep it. I NEEDED to keep it! And I did keep it, actually, for a number of years. It was a true miracle. Then, we had a litter of kittens. Yep, did it in. Used it as their litter box. Wasn’t very peaceful. So it up and died. I still miss my Dad, but I don’t miss the plant! Love ya, sister! Keep it up!

    • Thanks for posting the comment. Why do we as a society pick a plant that is so hard to care for as a gift to a grieving family? Distraction therapy? They are sure to have to grieve the loss of the %-$!#$* plant!


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