Mike’s favorite flower was the bougainvillea. It is really more of a flowering bush that produces small colorful flowers. The most common color is magenta, which is a bright pink. These could be found growing all over Africa. They also grow well here in South Carolina, but only during the summer months.
When I first met Mike, he was telling me about Africa and he spoke of the bougainvilleas. One day while I was out shopping, much to my surprise as I was looking at plants, the card attached said it was a bougainvillea. I bought it immediately. I could not contain my joy at having found it and drove immediately to Mike’s to surprise him. It is very difficult for me to keep secrets, especially about gifts.
Mike was thrilled and the plant thrived. The blossoms came and it was covered in flowers. It continued throughout the summer. Each time, I visited Mike the bougainvillea had its place of honor on the deck.
The plants rarely survive the winter. So each year, I would anxiously wait until I would find another and we would enjoy it for the summer. Last year, the one we had took over the entire corner of the deck. The limbs were heavy with blossoms. It was truly a glorious sight. The bougainvillea was positioned just so that when Mike looked out the window from his chair, he could see it.
This year, I did buy another. And a friend also bought one for me. I watered them just enough. They get plenty of sunshine, but this year, there have been no blossoms. The leaves are green and healthy, but no flowers. I am grieving right now. My life is much like this year’s bougainvillea. I take care of myself. I do what I am supposed to, but no blossoms. One day, they will return for me. But for now, I focus on doing the next right thing.