Posted in Flower meanings, Flowers, Friendship

La Langue des Fleurs

La Langue des Fleurs (1)

There is a delightful, yet, thought provoking book called, “The Language of Flowers”, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  It is beautifully written and paints a vivid description of a memorable woman who uses her gift for flowers to help change the lives of the people she meets.  While doing so, she must learn to heal from her past and lean into her future.

Have you ever thought about the types of flowers you are drawn to and what they say about your character or personality?  I think we all tend to choose our favorite flowers.  Does your spouse always bring you yellow roses?  Are geraniums your go-to garden plant?  For me and my garden, it is azalea’s, hot pink geraniums, Calla lilies, marigolds, zinnias, and mums.  

Just as there are birth month gems, there are birth month flowers.  My birthday is in May, so of course, I have the emerald; but also the Lily of the Valley.  Lily of the Valley means humility, chastity, and sweetness.  My, what a lot to live up to.

Think of all the ways flowers touch our lives.  The bouquet brought to you in the hospital; the unexpected single rose from the one you love; the spray laid upon a casket as a sign of respect and honor.  The type of flowers we choose for each person or occasion speaks volumes about the type of person who chose them.  Dainty and pale, bold and large, even all one color says to the world, “ I am here.  These flowers are part of me and me of them.  Drink in the fragrance and feel my thoughts of you.”

My little granddaughter delights in walking the neighborhood, admiring the flowers and doodle bugs.  She loves anything pink or purple and flowers are no exception.  She will sometimes pluck a flower from its stem and smile as she hands it to me, “Here, Nannie… I got you a flower!”  Time stands still and beauty knows no age limit, as we drink in the flower’s fragrance, gaze at its magnificence and feel the draw toward its delicate attraction.

If I could send you a little bouquet today, it would include pink carnations (I’ll never forget you), gardenias (You’re lovely), irises (Your friendship means so much to me), blue violets (faithfulness) and maybe an orchid (love, beauty, refinement).  Flowers may not be a replacement for telling someone how you really feel about them. Giving a bouquet of flowers is no excuse to not say “I love you.”  But, with the language of flowers you can say less and mean more, and as Lydia M. Child once said,  

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character.”     

 

Posted in Caring for others, Children, Friendship, Introspection, Parents

Soul Sister (a.k.a. Cousin Gina) by Ginger Keller Gannaway

“Soul” Sister (a.k.a. Cousin Gina)

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Gina and I in Panama City, 1960

 

     We were walking along a Pensacola beach around 8 a.m., after coffee and before the rest of the folks got up. We aimed to walk to the distant pier and talked nonstop the whole way.  Like evenly-matched tennis players, we served and volleyed kid woes back and forth. “He sneaks out the house so often, we have to hide our car keys now.”  “Her grades have dropped ‘cause she skips all the time.” “His room reeks of pot.”  “I hear ya’!” 

     Somehow letting go of our tales of angst gives us a kind of inner release.  We offer the worry and fear up to the sun, the waves, the breeze, and we become free to laugh out loud. Gina and I totally “get” each other, and for two hours we feel better.  On the walk back to our beach-front rental, we even rush into the surf for a quick swim and more laughter as we jump and dive into the waves. Like a couple of kids!

     Gina is my first cousin and my “soul” sister.  Even though she lived an hour away from my hometown, we saw each other often growing-up.  We shared every Keller family reunion or big holiday party at Grandma’s house for sure.  Also, we had full weeks at a time during the summer when we visited each other’s homes or went to our Indian Village camp with Grandma and Stella.

     During the 1980’s we got married and raised our kids in different states.  We didn’t spend long visits together, yet later we grabbed summer getaways when we both became public school teachers. In 1998 and 2010 we even took trips to NYC to visit my sister Gayle and sightsee and reconnect.  Gina and I snap back together easily, no matter how long we have been apart.  We share our Cajun culture, our Keller connection, and our childhood memories, and our family tragedies. Gina is  a close cousin, a trusted friend, a wise woman, a spiritual guide, and my soul sister.  She has a wit like a whip, yet it’s made of purple yarn or silly string. Her sarcasm is swift, yet stingless.  And we share a deep, honest love of movies that began in 1968 when we were both enchanted by Funny Girl.  Walking from Grandma’s to the Saturday matinees at the Liberty and then returning to sneak cigarettes while Grandma napped were big teenage moments for me.  We also worked in the theater’s concession stand and played tennis, went swimming, and obsessed over cute boys to fill the lazy summer days with good times.

     Throughout the sad, sad times and the glory days, humor has helped hold us together.  Two years ago we shared a weekend in Galveston at her sister Dana’s beach house, and while attempting to take a selfie, Gina and I laughed so hard tears ran down our cheeks as we fought to keep the other bodily liquid from running down our legs!

     Now she and I even have similar living situations. My 89-year-old dad lives with me, and Gina lives with her 87-year-old mom (my dad’s sister). So Gina and I chat and commiserate and explain and laugh over phone calls.  We still “get” each other, and as we face family challenges, we share sorrows and successes and above all we laugh.  Gina is a devoted daughter, a mighty mother, and a strong Grandma GiGi.  Time with Gina is always honest and often hysterical. It can be gut-wrenching and still stay golden.  We connect easily, strongly, and soulfully.

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Gina, Gayle, me, Andrew, Yvette in Pensecola (2009)
Posted in Friendship, Uncategorized

That’s What Friends Do: by Nancy Malcolm

 

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Forever….That’s how long a friendship lasts, even if it ends.  We always have that feeling, that knowing, the absolute truth about our friends that stays  in our hearts forever.  You can always retrieve it whenever you need it.

It is a place where we are safe.  A true friendship is non-perishable, its organic, its eternal.  Imagine that when you die, you can still take a part of your friend with you.  A friend loves forever.  I believe Heaven must be filled with BFF’s!  And God said, “This is good.”

A friend listens to you even when they have heard the story before.  A friend will even smile and ask questions, all the while, knowing the answer.

A friend will ask you how you are and really want to know the truth.  ‘Just fine’ or ‘Ok’ will rarely do, and especially concerning matters of the heart.

A friend will go with you to choose your second or even third wedding dress  because a  true friend is always your biggest cheerleader.

When  you just have to tell someone…when no one else will understand….when blue skies are grey and getting cloudier…when no one would believe it…you must tell your friend.

That’s what friends do.

Listen.  Talk.  Share.  Smile.  Hug.  Write.  Drive.  Pray.  Laugh.  Love.  Enjoy.  Like.  Give. Take.  Save.  Help.

Posted in Uncategorized

Letter to Facebook by Ginger Keller Gannaway

Dear Facebook (aka Crackbook):facebook2

I don’t (totally) mean to get all up in ya face, but you did begin on an ugly note – judging others on FACE value alone. So here goes.

Once you led teenagers and college-minded kids to follow the cool road of connections.  Nowadays you are preferred by grandmas, shut-ins, and introverts.  Your first followers have moved on down a more snappy,tweety road of instant gratification.

Still, the force in you is strong, but is it light or dark?  You connect us across immense distances and times: to strangers and friends and long-lost relations.  You can be a beacon for social goodness and you may provide millions of ways to ease our loneliness.  Good stuff, for sure, EXCEPT when you give power to the bullies and  the terrorists.

So.  If we don’t succumb to the darkness or the FOMO feelings or the catfishing urges or plain old addiction tendencies, you do help us connect, share, like, and even grow in interesting ways.

Thanks.

Ginger Keller Gannaway