Flowers for My Father

The Plumerias continue growing
without my father here to keep them.

The Jasmine are still fragrant
though he’s no longer here to smell them. 

The weeds that I potted
become beautiful flowers because
my father taught me to appreciate a flower,
no matter what we name them. 

“Flowers for My Father,” A poem by J.E.DiPalo
Photos by J.E.DiPalo

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Dad’s Plumerias

Missing my Dad on Mother’s Day. I wish he was with us to celebrate my 10th year as a mother🦋

These plumeria came from sticks of the original Hawaiian plumeria Dad got while we were there in 1984, When I was 2 years old. By keeping my flowers blossoming, I feel like some part of him is still with me, always sending signs. Love you, Dad

I’m sure for some, you can relate if you’ve lost a parent. My dad suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for 15 years before he finally let go of his suffering and passed. I was glad his pain was over more than anything when he died. 

For others, perhaps you have a crazy parent or family-member who drives you nuts, or may not have spoken to for a while. Believe me, I can relate to that too. Been there. 

You can’t choose your family, only what you learn from them. I have a person in my family, not my mom, that I have learned to walk away from this past year. She has too many problems for me to deal with aside from my own. It really has been better for me that we haven’t spoken, and I prefer to keep it that way. 

Maybe it helps to search for signs. I feel the plumeria help me to keep my dad’s ‘memory’ alive. If they never bloomed, I doubt I would take that as a sign that he was completely gone though – I would probably find something else to help me cope. 

So, for now the best I have to offer are the plumeria.