Every summer, my neighbor Gaye and I competed in a good-natured “Who grows the prettiest zinnias?” contest. I favored the big, showy varieties; she loved delicate Lilliputian zinnias. I lost my best friend and gardening buddy when Gaye died of colon cancer.
Following her funeral service, we gathered in the fellowship hall at Gaye’s church. I saw a basket filled with packets of Lilliputian zinnia seeds that Gaye’s daughter Lindy had put out. A sign next to it said: Please take a packet and plant them in my momma’s memory.
I took one, of course. When I got home, I emptied those seeds into the bowl where I save seeds from my zinnias. I planted them together when spring rolled around. That summer, my flower bed of mixed zinnias was more gorgeous than I could have imagined. I dried the seeds in the fall and sent some to Lindy.
Months later, I received a text from her, along with a photograph of her own flower bed. “My zinnias are the envy of the neighborhood,” Lindy wrote. “I see my sweet momma’s smile in every one.”
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