When I wrote my first blog entry, I was hell-bent and determined to get it online before the end of the year. Little did I know, that it would be dated about 6hr later…making my arbitrary, self-imposed deadline already missed.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
I hadn’t looked at my email or anything else–I was so going to get this blog out by 2013. As a result, I didn’t know that my friend had died that morning.
I saw Dave about 10 days earlier, ending with that lame joke coworkers often use, “See you next year.” Except I didn’t and now I won’t.
I almost emailed Dave the day after he died, with a picture of a ripe babaco I just harvested. Then I remembered–as soon as his name popped up–I remembered.
After a monumental fail with that same babaco last summer, Dave and I figured out a ‘Plan B’ in the event that tree died, which trees do when you separate them from the majority of their roots. Dave was going to help me propagate the tree, so even if it died, there would be others. But the tree lived, held on to it fruit, and flourished. It’s Dave that is gone. And I don’t quite know how to get my head wrapped around this fact. We were going to have a babaco party…what the hell happened?
Dave was a wonderful plant dork. He loved plants–quite indiscriminately, I might add. He had a hard time saying ‘No’ to plants, or throwing plants away. As a result, his greenhouse overflowed. There were always plants for secretaries, for faculty, for kids, or the college student who was homesick, or just broke up with a significant other. He provided plants for my daughter’s elementary school classes, for all sorts of outreach activities, and for anyone that needed one (whether they knew it or not!). He kept a supply of sensitive fern (Mimosa pudica) and burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum) on hand, along with bromeliads, patchouli, anything to grab a kid, and their attention.
Dave was the type of person who helped you catch cockroaches for another friend’s child’s bug collection. Actually, to be accurate, he caught and bagged the cockroaches, and I just delivered them, trying not to gag, because cockroaches are pretty gross. He was generous and shared everything–plants, cockroaches, and mealy bugs.
The mealybugs were funny, and are…were a running joke. Dave did actually share mealybugs. In fact, he donated them to students in my class who needed them for an assignment. I think one student acknowledged him in his write up with “Mealybugs generously donated by Dave”.
Dave took in more stray dogs than anyone I know, although it was no where near the number of stray plants. I have this wonderful Philodendron squamiferum from Dave. It is actually my second from Dave. It was a replacement from one that had gotten unwieldy. A week later, he brings me this gorgeous, healthy, squat Philodendron, nothing like the spindly, etiolated, wind-whipped and ravaged one I gave him. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: “Dave, there is no way this is my plant. This plant looks good. Mine looked like shit.”
Dave:”Nope. It’s your plant…at least…it is genetically identical to your plant.”
Unlike his plants, Dave was one of a kind. And he will be missed.
This wasn’t on my list of blog topics. I planned to talk about the babaco… I gave this blog a tagline of ‘Flowers, fruit, food and f-bombs.’ Flu is the ultimate f-bomb. Please get vaccinated.