My Sweet Delphinium


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Grandmother, Memories, Relationships, Women | Posted on 25-09-2012

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We had a plan to meet up for a visit. My good friend, Irma, and I. Easy enough, she eats at 4:00 p.m.

Admittedly, I scheduled our visit like she was another appointment in my busy day. Get the kids to school, jog, conference calls, dentist appointment, and client meetings, then meet up with Irma. I was to visit my “adopted grandmother” at her senior living community. I drove like a maniac in traffic.

I arrived late. The white-haired crowd had already dispersed from dinner. Dishes were clattering, as the bussers wiped away dropped napkins, rolling peas and spilled iced tea.

A friendly woman, named Barbara, walked me to Irma’s apartment. Apparently, all of the residents know her. How can you resist Irma’s charming smile, funny stories, and kind words? The door was unlocked, as always. I knocked and called out, “Irma! It’s me!” I didn’t want to startle her.

She wasn’t there. Her place was quiet and tidy. Silk flower bouquets. Hummel figurines. A loud ticking clock, marking the seconds. An afghan to cover cold legs.

I left the chocolate chip cookies I had baked on the table, with the lace doily. “Oh, you sweet Darling. You always do such nice things for me,” I imagined her saying. I wanted to hug her frail, ninety-something-year-old shoulders. And see her twinkly eyes and her dangly earrings. The pair I gave her a decade ago. Now, far too heavy for her drooping lobes.

Where was she?

She always showered me with encouraging, complimentary words. I needed my “Irma fix.”

I navigated the maze hallway, down the elevator, and outside to her raised bed garden. In the hopes that she would be tending her delphiniums. At that same moment, Irma was meandering the maze hallway, up the elevator, looking for me.

The delphiniums were a lovely shade of periwinkle blue–though a bit weathered through the heat of summer–and were staked up. With the hopes to stay strong and perky another month. Hopeful.

Circling. Searching. I must have passed the white-haired trio of women sitting on the bench gabbing and enjoying the evening air, four times. They gave me a perplexed look.

An hour later after I had left and was driving down the freeway, Irma called me with her sunshiny voice, “Hello, Dear! I am so sorry. I took a walk and checked my flowers and got caught up talking to one of my friends.”

Of course she did. That is just so Irma.

I smiled, “It’s OK. It was my fault for being late.” (And I mentally kicked myself.) “Let’s plan another visit in a few weeks.”

And I knew that when I said that, that I had better prioritize Irma in my over scheduled life.

Because friends should not be treated like appointments. And Irma, much like her beautiful delphiniums, will not last forever.

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Comments (38)

I’m sorry you didn’t get to see Irma but you’re right, next time you’ll plan better, you’ll get to visit with her and you’ll both be better off for being in one anothers’ lives.


Aw, you’re right. Those extra special people in our lives needed to be treated extra specially. ๐Ÿ™‚


Such a sweet story — I loved it and Irma. Good friends are precious and I’m glad she’s a priority for you.

Oh thank you! It got me wondering about my life in general…am I too busy for friends? I CANNOT be too busy for friends. And, thus, I need to reprioritize here and there.

Thanks for the comment,

Such a lovely post. It made me want to meet Irma and help her with her delphiniums.

Good for you for setting your priorities straight!

She would love your help! They are starting to look a little sad and saggy.

Thanks for your nice words,

Beautiful post. Irma sounds like a real gem. I hope you have a nice visit next time!

Wooh! I’m glad nothing bad happened to Irma – I was worried when she wasn’t home!

Beautiful! I love the contrasts you drew between Irma and her flowers.

It’s odd, but sometimes it’s so hard to remember to make time for the people we love and care about. Thanks for the reminder ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you! I will be visiting soon!


I know…I was worried at first too. She was just tending her garden and chatting with a friend.


I think we need to constantly assess and reprioitize because often life is crazy.

I’m constantly challenged with have to vs. want to.

Thanks for the comment,

Agree! You have to stop and smell those flowers!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I love the comparison of Irma to her beautiful flowers. How appropriate. They have so much wisdom and such a great grasp of history. It’s good to be reminded that in time they will fade, so we must make them a priority.

Great post!

Beautifully written. I even got a bit misty at the end. How blessed you are to have an adopted Grandma!

so very sweet. i’m SO glad Irma’s OK though; i was worried there for a second.

I was worried too when I checked her apartment and it was so quiet.

She was just hanging outside, smelling the flowers.


I am just copying and pasting this first part. Sorry โ€ฆ I promise you will only have to endure it once. Iโ€™m Angela โ€” new to blogging and new to yeah write. But, not new to writing. Until becoming unemployed this June (effinโ€™ Scott Walker โ€ฆ oops!), I taught high school English and Creative Writing was one of those courses. So, long story short: I will always have lots to say. Feel free to curse at me if you donโ€™t want to hear all my feedback. If you want more, let me know that too. I will glady offer even further feedback, but Iโ€™m not interested in pissing anyone off my first time on the grid. Now, on to your post โ€ฆ
I enjoyed this. There are some excellent details in here, and I like you tie the imagery to emotion, like the delphiniums being representative of hope. At parts, I did wonder about the point (although the language was lovely the whole time) and then it was so very beautifully phrased at the end … “Because friends should not be treated like appointments. And Irma, much like her beautiful delphiniums, will not last forever.” I LOVED those last two lines — so very true and so beautifully phrased. We all need to remind ourselves of such. I’m very glad I read this, and received that well-written reminder.

Thank you. Yes, I am blessed.

Thanks for writing!

Thank you. And nicely said. In time they will fade, so enjoy them while we have them.

Thanks again!



Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Angela! I welcome any and all feedback. Thank you for yours!

Thanks again,

I loved the way your words flowed, but most importantly I loved how real they were. While the Irma in your story is your Irma, the busy schedule could belong to any one of us, and that made the story relate-able and hit the lesson home.
Because friends shouldn’t be treated like appointments.

Great job on this one! I really enjoyed it!

I loved meandering through the gardens with you while you were looking for Irma. I was worried at first, like everyone else, and then so relieved that she was just busy talking to her friends! This was a lovely post, delicately put, and with a beautiful lesson.

I was getting a little worried that something was going to happen to Irma. It’s such an important lesson to know and understand – about putting people first – and yet even when we know it, it remains hard to follow.

Great story.

I think you should be very happy. Irma was not pining away lamenting that you didn’t show. She has a community to support her.

Indeed! She has friends, flowers, and activities to keep her smiling.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment,

Thank you.

I was getting worried too. Fortunately, she was just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚


Thank you for your nice comments!


I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your comments; I try to be relateable. I mean, we all are busy and that can be a problem when it’s so important to have connections.

Thanks again!

This is such a sweet story. I’m glad for you that you have such a wonderful friendship with Irma, and happy for her that she has such a great community to live in, and lots of friends to lose track of time with.

Aw, thanks. Isn’t that the truth…that we want to be surrounded with people we like.

Thanks for writing,

I want an Irma in my life too! Can we share her? She sounds lovely and your story is equally beautiful. I enjoyed your descriptive phrasing and the flow of your writing. Thank you for the reminder about priorities – too easy to forget.

You, too, can be her adopted granddaughter!

Thank you for your kind words,

Don’t you wish you could manufacture time? That way everyone who is important could get their fair share. Ellen

That would be a great trick. Maybe Doc Brown could help us with that?

Great idea,

I hope you get to see her again soon. And I’m delighted that she is active and involved with life in her community at ninety. May we all be so young at her age.

I will and you’re right about being happy and active when we’re old.

Thanks for your comment,

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