So, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of tulip motifs on the site. It’s no accident, of course. These were Juliet’s favorite flower, and in our minds, the tulip is pretty indelibly related to her. It’s just her flower.
“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk through my garden forever.” — Alfred Lord Tennyson
Both of my girls love lots of different types flowers and petals of all sorts frequently found their way into their artwork. Juliet and Helena were always careful to collect fallen petals and then would glue (or sometimes tape…there’s just something so enticing about transparent tape…it’s the child’s duct tape and just every conceivable arts and crafts project seems only to be improved 8 1/2 million percent by adding 2.5 feet of tape to it, somewhere) and then draw and color all around, use stickers, and make pretty things. One of the benefits of living in Germany — even in the relatively dry year while we were there — is that it rains all the time, so there are often lots of pretty flowers. Walks or bike rides or scootering hither and yon seemed to almost always turn up nice flowers for artwork. It helped that there were some beautiful gardens a block or so away, where Juliet used to like to go when she was up for a short walk. I can imagine her traipsing along a path, along a flower bed, smelling some blooms, carefully selecting and then putting fallen petals in a sparkly pink purse or perhaps in the little satchel on the handlebars of her scooter.
At Juliet’s memorial, we again had a somewhat omnipresent tulip motif. All of the tables had planted tulips and there were some beautiful bouquets of them, and some potted, sent to our home. It was a bit of a test of my not-terribly-green thumb to try to hang on to all of the bulbs and store them in soil for planting during the winter. (Full disclosure…the pics above are not from our yard, rather from a field in Napa, near where our friend Derek works). I planted them far too late (according to those in the know), which I blame on knee surgery in November (making kneeling and gardening rather impossible) and the general sh*tt*ness and malaise that accompanied our first Christmas without Juju for this, but the California winter was long, and cold and wet, so we got a fantastic showing scattered across the yard.
As it was, there was a single, beautiful pink tulip blooming on March 1st. The rest would patiently wait another week or so to start showing.
Juju spent but two short yet very important stints at a bi-lingual school (pre-school and the beginning of kindergarten) in Germany, where she made terrific friends and was very loved and special to her classmates. Unbeknownst to us, her class planted special flower beds with tulips in remembrance of her. They are beautiful and wonderfully sweet.
It makes such a huge difference to us to know that she is remembered in such a precious and enduring way.