Shortly after Miranda died, a group of women in my neighborhood came over with spades and shovels and bulbs. One of them had found a tulip in a catalogue called a Miranda tulip. They dug and planted and the next spring, my beds were overflowing with white and red tulips. They were beautiful and they come back every year right around Miranda's birthday and I treasure them.
Last spring, I was a wreck when I went outside and saw most of my tulips without their heads. I couldn't believe it. I wondered who the heartless kids were that had cut my tulips. The stems were chopped off in a straight line, looked like they had been cut with a scissors. I realized a little later that of course it was the deer with their straight teeth. The deer devour my strawberries and tulips are edible (and I guess delicious, which is a good thing to know in case of an emergency).
This weekend, we had quite a storm. It rained and hailed and Bianca noticed yesterday that a lot of my Miranda tulips had snapped near the heads and were hanging from their stems. Bianca and I went out and gathered each one of them we could find and filled up bowls with water (as the stems left on the head were only about an inch long and regular vases wouldn't work). They're beautiful still, and I've decorated my house with them. I've got a trifle bowl filled with them in my kitchen, and Portia, Bianca, and I each got a single tulip for our bedrooms. In a small way, I feel like I'm decorating my house with little reminders of Miranda. Like our house is filled with her presence (or presents, whichever way you want to look at it).
Bianca thinks the crevices fill with water and so it made the tulips too heavy for their stems, which sounds about right to me. Bianca played a big part in the rescue mission and for that, I'm grateful. I wouldn't have known they were there if not for her venturing out in the rain yesterday to check on some mother's day present she's storing out there (don't tell her, but I know she's steeping some flower petals in water trying to make me home-made perfume).
I noticed some more hanging this morning as I returned from jogging. So I grabbed them and filled another bowl. I don't know if my attempt to save every bit of life related to Miranda (including these tulips) is the result of my guilt at not being able to save her life almost four years ago. It probably is. I still wonder if I made the right decision--if I had kept her on life support just a little longer maybe she would have made it through. I know what the doctors told me, but I can't help but wonder.
I know she's gone--for now. But I still look forward to springtime, her birthday, when a little bit of life (in Miranda's name) peeks through the soil and surrounds me with beauty. And I'll try to keep it around me as long as I have the power to.