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Sandra Dean – Registered Member


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Igniting memories for inspiration in life – flowers for me this week in memory of my wonderful Great Aunt! Can you do the same?

July Sunflower and red geraniums in memory of  my Great Auntie

July Sunflower and red geraniums in memory of my Great Auntie

I have a total of twenty three pot plants and flowers outside the front of my house. (I have no garden, just a driveway, but am making the most of it.

I have also lived in this wonderful little house a year and four months already, and have only just thought of a new idea whilst being away for a few days on the Isle of Wight. I was enjoying flowers of all types around the Island and in the Botanical Gardens, when I saw some bright red geraniums, which immediately reminded me of my Great Aunt who played a loving and big part in my childhood until my twenties. “Oh I’ve got to get a red geranium” I told Chris. He agreed. From the gift shop I bought a black metal plant stick with a fork on the top and room to write a few words on white card under plastic. Perfect! Not only did my Great Aunt cook the most delicious of foods for which she was adored, but she grew all her vegetables and fruit in her garden, so the ‘fork’ was apt for both! She never had children but treated my dad well and we four siblings as her own; which at times was necessary.

All my flowers and potted plants on the left side July 2014

All my flowers and potted plants on the left side July 2014

All my flowers and plants on the right hand side July 2014

All my flowers and plants on the right hand side July 2014

I have always been to her gravestone and laid plants and flowers whilst having a quiet chat with her about what’s going on in our lives, but a red geranium and a memorium will bring her back to my own home.

So, off I went to the garden centre to get a red geranium, which I found easily at this time of year, and then I saw a bright yellow sunflower, one flower already in bloom. Oh my heart skipped a beat! Not only did my Great Aunt love her red geraniums outside her back door in pots, but she grew huge sunflowers and was very proud of them. So, I bought one of those too! How exciting! So, this morning I re-potted them together and here they are, outside my front door, in memory of my Great Aunt. What a colourful way to remember her right here at my own home! She’d love to know that I’ve carried on her tradition and now I can think of her every single time I come in and out of my home. She was a very strong, say it how it is, loving woman, without whom my family would have suffered more, and I totally appreciate what she did for us. She lived ninety nine years and she really did go through a lot!

Is there an important person from your life you can remember with flowers, plants, vegetables or fruit at your home?

I’d love to know!

July 2014 Japanese roses for one pound

July 2014 Japanese roses for one pound

My mum also gave me a beautiful cut glass vase the other day, as she was having a clear out so lucky me saw some japanese roses as a local market stall was finishing up and I got them for just £1, how lovely!

I potted two little seedlings this morning into huge pots – year one will bring a leafy rounded plant and year two will bring a tall flowering stem – I cannot wait and cannot believe I am committing myself to wait two years for a plant – it must be my age and the fact that I am settling down.

I cannot say it enough that making a home for myself, tending to my potted plants and flowers, having my tropical fish, hamster and gorgeous cat and taking a little responsibility for/building my relationships with, my parents in taking them out at least once a week, is doing for my mental health. At seventy nine and eighty two, they are very independent but we do stuff that requires my car! I am gaining confidence all the time and getting out more and more, rarely feeling paranoid or self conscious.

My anger is subsiding and I am able to stop anger from reaching a high level, nipping it in the bud at a low level, and I am showing my true self and heart now. I feel like I have found who I am again now, not just floating around ‘fitting in’ with others’. I am getting on much better with Chris too and he is going to take me on holiday soon!

July 2014 pale pink verbena

July 2014 my pale pink verbena

My yellow flowers July 2014

My yellow flowers July 2014

Group therapy is going well and I am learning more about myself every single week, and I will find out soon if I will get onto year three of my counselling college course (interview in two weeks!).  Oh I still have problems, which I will continue to work on, but it is great to think I can tick a few more things off my ‘negatives’ list 🙂 Writing a therapy journal after my group on Wednesday’s is brilliant, as I have been there ten months now and can see a huge improvement when I look back and read some of the older journals.

Take care,

Amanda 🙂

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