Today would have been Wendy's birthday.
One of the running gags in our marriage was my claim that men don't see changes. Don't ask me about your hair. Don't ask me whether you've gained or lost weight. I only see the woman I fell for in 1995, and that image never changes. Thus Wendy was always 27 to me. She would sometimes find it annoying if I would tell the bank clerk on a mortgage application "She's 27".
Now, something similar sets in. Wherever she is now, she'll never age from 37.
This year, I had someone drop a carnation into the river that was our last outing in Toronto before we sold that home and moved back west. Next year I'll get someone to run around Vancouver and drop carnations in appropriate locations there.
The tree was planted in Wendy's memory by the funeral home. I had a choice of an aspen or a spruce, and chose the aspen. When I visited the tree at the six-month mark, I wondered if I had chosen wrong. Six or seven dried leaves were dangling brown and forlorn on a dead-looking tree. Three months later, a winter's winds have stripped those remnants of last year's life from the framework and the tree is quietly waiting for a new year. The symbology does work after all.
The dried rose is from Kathleen's pall from two weeks ago. I took it with me to leave with Wendy's tree. The prairie winter wind will remove it eventually, but that's OK. It was mainly there for the picture.