The Siberian Iris /Written by Janice Tindle

Recently, my husband and I were hit by the flu and an upper respiratory infection that came invading like a band of Cossacks invading a treasured castle. They hit hard. And though we survived the attack, it left us plundered and pillaged of our resources. It will take a long time to recover, but hopefully, we will with time.
It was about the fifth day into it, as I was still in bed with a high fever of 103 F, that my husband happened to look out the window into the back yard. He was met with a happy surprise. A Siberian Iris blooming in the sun in all it’s glory. It had survived the unexpected snowfall that hit about the same time as the flu hit us. He had wanted to cut it and bring it in, but I said, “No, leave it lay. It won’t survive the cutting, but it may survive the snow. If it doesn’t, there’s always next year.” But it had, like us survived. And that got me thinking about how I came to have the iris in the first place. I had a dear friend, named Colleen. She and I were gardening buddies, shopping pals, and good neighbors. We did quite a lot together. She was a diabetic, and if she wanted to go somewhere, and didn’t feel well, she went anyway, taking me along, insulin on the seat of the car between us. If she got sick, I was to get her insulin. She was a very determined lady. And most of the time, I was frightened for her. Fortunately, I never had to give her insulin.
One day, when she was home alone, for whatever reason, she decided to go up to the screened in porch roof to the wisteria vine. Maybe it was to retrieve a cat or to check on a noise, or trim the vine she was trying so desperately to bloom, but she leaned a bit too far over a loose railing and fell onto the patio below. There she lay, in the shade, where no one could see her for hours. She suffered a head injury and was left partly paralysed. My other friend, Carol,and I, along with Colleen’s husband stayed at the hospital for two weeks as she lay in a coma. I had read where if you talk to them, really hit that right nerve, they will wake up. So, her husband and I literally nagged her awake. Her first words were, “Shut up.” And I knew she was going to be okay, at least in that moment. Eventually, she came home, but was confined to bed. She was a proud woman, so I cut her hair, did her nails,tweezed and shaved, lotioned and made up her face, so that she smiled in the mirror. I put bird feeders outside her window so she could watch them and I washed her two parrots in the shower and cleaned their cages. They sat on my shoulders and fingers to visit her and bit me more than once. I made her meals, cleaned her house, and cared for her cats. All the while, I was sleeping at my great uncle’s house at night to give my great-aunt a rest as he lay in a his hospital bed, dying of leukemia. If that wasn’t enough, I was stopping by everyday to visit my parents after my father’s stroke and trying to run a small business. On the weekends, I would garden.
Gardening was my love and still it remains. And Colleen and I had traded many plants together. When she finally died, seven years later, her husband raped and pillaged her garden like a parade of locusts. Not a tree, bush, flower, vine, ornament or stone was left. The enchanted little cottage that sat in the hollow became a barren wasteland and the colorful house was painted a non descript tan, like a vanilla cookie. I can’t say why he did it, but he did. The house was sold and he moved on. But her garden was not lost. It lives only on my property and more importantly, in my heart.
I had the flu when she died, and couldn’t go to the funeral, so I cried buckets of tears. And so, when my husband mentioned the iris, it all came flooding back, the memories and the symbolism. For she was like the iris, tall, and strong, beautiful and resultant, overcoming impossible odds. And as I thought of that iris, blooming in the sun, I thought sometimes the answers to what we seek are right there in our sight, blooming in the sun, just waiting for us to notice.
NOTE:Any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental.


NOTICE: NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, from my website may be use without a request in writing to me. Permission, if granted, will be done in writing. Failure to do so will result in possible prosecution. I am the sole owner of my words and at point of publication on this site it is copyrighted as mine. - copyright 2012 Janice Tindle In 2010, I suffered a traumatic brain injury and other injuries when hit by an under insured driver. It changed my life. I now live with Dystonia, a rare and painful neurologal disorder that causes involuntary muscle spasms and abnormal posturing. There is no treatment or cure. The best one can do is treat the symptoms. You can learn more at I try to write about people and things that help and inspire my readers. You can find more of my story by going to I am also on Facebook, where I have five pages, Pain Brain -Anti- Inflammatory Foods, Brain Tears, The Positive Posters Page, Traumatic Brain Injury Resources Page, Janice Tindle- Writer. I am also on Twitter and LinkedIn. Simply Google my name and my published articles should appear. I've been published in Fearless Caregiver, Today's Caregiver, TBI Hope and Inspiration Magazine, The, and several other publications. I am currently a caregiver for my dear mother. My hope is to someday finish my books, "Get Back Up!" and "Galicia's Granite" during my mother's lifetime. Your interest in my care, recovery and writing is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Comments are welcome.
This entry was posted in caregiving, coping skills, essay, family, hospice, human interest, humanity, inspirational, life changing events, love, motivational, people, short story, thought provoking. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Siberian Iris /Written by Janice Tindle

  1. janicetindle says:

    Thank you for liking my little story.


  2. Thank you for liking my little story.


  3. Hi Janice, thank you for the comment on my blog but your blog post has cheered me, a sad but uplifting story. I love the thought of your talking to Colleen when she was in a coma and her telling you to shut up. You write so beautifully. As a reader you just want to read the next sentence – more, please.


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