Friday, March 27, 2015


Okay, so, this is not a subject that we talk about a lot.  But I felt like I should talk about it because I'm having to deal with it in a serious way right now.  And if you're wondering why there is a daisy at the top of this post it's because that daisy is my transference object.

Let me explain.  I've been home from the hospital for about week now since having Joseph.  My mother and I check the porch for packages and find this long package from 1-800-Flowers.  We open it up and find this daisy in a green metal pot.  It was wilted a little due to being in a box in the Georgia summer heat.  But it quickly revived with some water.  We opened the letter that came with it and discovered that my cousin Amanda had sent it to me.  She had helped cook dinner the night before I went into the hospital and came to visit my first day here.  But then she had to go back to Louisiana.  She thought it was better to send me something that was living.  So she sent this daisy.

I'm not very good at keeping houseplants.  Never have been.  But I figured I'd try.  The summer got particularly hot so I kept the daisy in a window in the kitchen.  One day I looked over and saw that the daisy was wilting slightly.  It wasn't in danger yet, but it wasn't happy.  I nearly crash into the sink getting water for it.  And that's when I realized I had transferred all my loving instincts and such onto... a daisy.

I was living in a house with a dog.  I thought it would be the dog.  But Clarence (the dog) had been around for a few years before then, so he was already firmly entrenched in the role of being my little furry brother.  I thought maybe it would happen if someone brought over their kid.  But it did not happen.  No, I transferred onto a daisy.  At first I thought it was a little crazy and I thought of getting rid of it.  But that thought nearly made me break down in tears.  And then I had another thought: it's a plant, it's about as low maintenance as a living creature can get, no one is ever going to care about where it is but me... so, why is this a bad thing again?

Well, plants, even plants that you bring in during the winter and tend to very carefully, have a life span.  Gerbera daisies have a lifespan of about three to ten years when taken care of well.  And mine is about three months away from five years old.  And this winter was not kind.  I don't have a very bright apartment and I was starting to think it was dying.  I know it's a little weird to say I was crying over a daisy, but I was.  It's been with me a while now.  And I wasn't ready to let it go.  What I realized was I need a new daisy.

I have a few very close friends in Athens, and one of them, Kristin, used to work in a florist's shop.  I told her about my dying daisy.  And asked her to go with me to a plant nursery next month and pick out a new daisy for me.  She knows what my daisy means to me and she knows that I need something to take care of.  So she agreed and we are going next month.  My daisy seems to have recovered since the weather has warmed up and is doing okay.  But I'm still going to get another daisy so that I have a back up for when the other one dies.

At this point, I guess I will have daisies in pots the rest of my life.  Every few years I'm going to have to ask a friend to go with me to a plant nursery and pick out a daisy for me.  I figure we don't get to pick our kids, I didn't get to pick my firs daisy, I should go on having everyone pick daisies for me when I need to get a new one.  It will be a ritual for me every few years.

My daisy does help me.  Despite the fact it was breaking my heart when I thought it was dying, it has helped me to take care of something and raise something in place of raising my son.  I will probably keep on growing daisies and for me they will remind me of Joseph.  But they will also remind me that I can take care of something and raise something.  They will remind me that I am capable of taking care of a living creature, even if it is just a plant.

I hope you are all doing well tonight.  If you have any stories of transference that you'd like to share, please do so in the comments.  Have a great weekend!

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