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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

PEARL'S ASHES #7

Chapter 3:  Pearl's Sunburst


In 1983 Pearl was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Her doctor recommended surgery followed by chemotherapy.  While she was recuperating at Kuakini Hospital, I saw in a flower shop a red, spherical flower with no leaves.  I learned that this was an African Blood Lily (Scadoxus multifloras) and grew from a bulb.  I called it a sunburst to inspire her.  I told her that as long as she could re-grow this flower, she would live.  While chemotherapy lasted for a terrible few months, she mothered two more flowers the following year, and they almost kept doubling each year.  That's the view of Punchbowl from our Craigside penthouse.

Thus, when I returned from the Big Island in 2010, I planted a gel cap of her ashes (#7) in this particular plant at sunset:


Our roof that summer must have had a dozen sunbursts:


I brought a pot with me to 15 Craigside, and exhibited a flowering on my floor:


Note the SIMPLE SOLUTION ESSAYS dedicated to her.  This is the photo I used on the back cover.    I passed on copies of this book at occasions when we planted the Gold Tree at the Hilo Municipal and Ala Wai Golf Courses.  These will be later chapters.

These African Blood Lilies normally bloom between late June and early September, but usually in July, the month of her birth and death.  On the roof of my previous apartment it was so hot that the leaves dried up in November and the pot was covered until June.  Here at 15 Craigside, the leaves never go brown:


A photo with Pearl's urn:


Finally, Pearl was awed by the Washington Monument, we went to several concerts on the mall when we both worked for the U.S. Senate and every year the 4th of July fireworks certainly look like sunbursts:


Tomorrow, my nostalgic walk back home to Kakaako.

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