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The house plant

A distinct memory and musing from my sister's death.

It lay forgotten in a pile of scattered potting soil, the green spider leg-like leaves splayed across the cream colored carpet. It was the only thing out of place in the room, apart from her absence, the humming and puffing of one machine, and the intermittent beeps from another. Silence.

My mother sits quietly in the rocker, staring blankly at the mess. I think to clean up the dirt, to re-bury the plant's roots to keep it alive. Alive. It's been 24 hours now since it all began. Since she was ripped from her crib, the paramedics knocking the plant to the ground in the process, since she was rushed off to the hospital, a shade of blue.

Minutes would have made a world of difference here. Ten minutes earlier out of bed, ten minutes earlier the call would have been made, ten minutes earlier the paramedics would have arrived, ten minutes for her life. That plant has been lying there for 24 hours without rescue and would probably be fine if not rescued until tomorrow.

The damn plant is still thriving today, 18 years later.

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