19 August 2011

Ochna Kirkii

Or Ochna Serrulata. Or Birds Eye Bush. Or Mickey Mouse plant which is my favorite and preferred label for this plant. This bush is just across our house and I greet it every time I have to cross the street to feed our neighbor and dog friend Dawgy. Yes, we still feed Dawgy regularly. Sometimes the bush looks so inviting that I get distracted and watch it first before delivering Dawgy's food which makes Dawgy howl in protest. I can almost hear her growl "bring me the food first and stop gawking at the plants!" It does not help that my father and son dogs Sumo and Sweepy will join Dawgy in barking at me. My, these dogs do rally together!

Today was my late mother's registered birthdate although she celebrated on the 22nd which was the date she thought was her birth date until she later found out that it was the wrong date! My eldest sister Luchie recalled how my Mama got upset when she realized she was celebrating her birthday on the wrong day since childhood! Now, years after her death, we still celebrate Mama's birthday on the 22nd by lighting a candle and saying a prayer for her, eat her favorite mango cake and ice cream and possibly listen to her favorite crooner Sinatra . . .

August is special because it was also the birth month of Mama's mother and my late grandmother Lola Fina. Lola Fina was already in her 90s when I was born (Mama was menopausal when I was born) and Lola Fina lived with us and took care of me.

I remember Lola Fina so well because of her small laughing eyes, her long snow white hair which she tied in a bun at the top of her head, her soft gnarled hands clasped in mine as I joined her in prayers at noon and at Angelus while facing the church in the distance. . . . When I reached school age we moved to Makati (a city in Manila) and Lola Fina stayed with us but she became weak and bedridden and I spent my free time near her and found her laughing eyes watching me all the time. On the day before she died, Lola Fina struggled to get up from bed and went down the stairs to take a bath! My Mama got hysterical and in tears helped Lola Fina wash before she climbed back in bed. By dawn the next day Lola Fina died smiling in her sleep, freshly washed, as if in preparation for a great event . . .

August brings back happy memories of these two strong and special women in my life. Oh I'm sure they are back in each other's arms, the mother and daughter, Mama and my Lola Fina, somewhere where days are longer and spent laughing, cooking, and talking endlessly. Someday I will join them and, like them, I will also be pain-free in my sick bed and, like them I will die smiling. People wondered why my mother and grandma were smiling in death. But there is no secret. They both lived a full life which they shared with everyone including strangers and they both knew that death is not the end of their world! And I believe them . . .

Just like these Mickey Mouse plant, Mama and Lola Fina made August a special 'oh-ghost' month for me. Oh, go ahead, our friendly ghost, roam my heaven! ;-)

For special flower people like Maia, Luiz, Laerte, Sandy and Denise. For happy pink lover Beverly too (I will have my pinks next week!):
Macro Flowers Saturday badge 1

And for Amy who will march down the aisle (er, nave?) soon:

14 comments:

Poetic Shutterbug said...

What a beautiful vibrant color. I love this flower and don't think I've seen it before. Fantastic macros.

Dimple said...

I like Mickey Mouse plant!
You are fortunate to have had two such people in your life as your mother and grandmother.

Tina said...

Beautiful flowers! :) LG Tina

maiaT said...

Your post is very beautiful but so sad.

My Mama's birthday is in August too, she is gone as well.

Lovely Mickey Mouse flowers and fruits.

My garden haven said...

This is a beautiful post, sensitive and touching...you are lucky to have had their influences in your life that made you who you are.Thank you for sharing your tribute with us.
Rosie

SquirrelQueen said...

What a beautiful little flower.

You have wonderful memories of your mother and grandmother, that is a treasure you will never lose.

august2011 said...

Nice sshrub and nice tradition to celebrate your mum's birthday.
Mango cake sounds good too :-)

ester said...

Cute flowers. I love the name too.

My entry.

Denise said...

A very special post today with sweet memories of your dear mother and grandmother. Your flowers are a beautiful tribute to them. I added your link just now and I am sure everyone is going to enjoy your post as much as I did. Have a great week ahead my friend.

The Chair Speaks said...

Love this plant too for its different colours on the same plant!

p3chandan said...

Have seen this plant before but couldnt get the mature stem to grow in my own garden!

LauraX said...

I feel the same as the commenter above...remarkable!

Luna Miranda said...

this is an intriguing flower. red buds that turn out to be a yellow flower. terrific shots.

Nayana said...

wonderful memory of your mom and grandmom and flower is beautiful..love the color...