Poinsettia Regretta

In case you were thinking of asking me to take care of your plants while you were away for the holidays, there’s something you might like to know.
This is what my poinsettias looked like only hours after bringing them home last week.

When I’d spotted these lush plants on sale as I was scooting down the aisle, I couldn’t help but imagine how wonderful they would look on the piano. Since it was my last stop—just a moment’s drive from home—I scooped them up, and off we went.
But we live in a dangerous part of town (what with KFC being just across from Canadian Tire) and after my senses were assaulted on the way to the van, we were taken captive and somehow I found myself in a line-up handing over a ransom for supper.
By the time Shopper’s Drugmart enticed us in for a little pick-pocketing fun I’d completely forgotten all about my plants. It wasn’t until we started to unload the van, and I saw the cavalcade of wilted petals weeping between the passengers seats like a funeral procession, did I remember I was supposed to get them straight home—out of the cold. I had, once again, assassinated another houseplant—two this time around.
That meant I needed to plop them atop the piano for a while.
Part of me secretly hoped they’d bounce back. They didn’t. Part of me wanted to be reminded of how beautiful it would have been… if only. And part of me thought I should remind myself of my mistake. After all, wouldn’t it be living in denial if I didn’t? Having to face up to them for awhile might make me feel rotten enough about wasting all that money to never do it again.
I felt the need to explain it to my friends when they were over. Susan, of course, thought it gave a sort of ‘Goth’ look to my Christmas decorating. They all thought it was a funny, unfortunate mishap.
But every time I saw the dead plants, I only felt worse. It was just another one of those ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’ reminders tearing away at my confidence. So, yesterday, when I happened upon this gorgeous poinsettia (on my very last stop), I decided to give myself another chance.

This morning I threw the dead ones out.
Sometimes we keep little reminders of our shortcomings around. But what we really need to be reminded of, is that life is already hard enough. We have to be intentional about not letting all the things that go wrong (even when it’s our own fault) flash-freeze us on our way to where we’re going.
But if they do?
For goodness sake, throw them out! Don’t set them up somewhere in front of you where you’ll always be reminded of them.
It’s okay to start over.


  1. I was laughing through the first part of this post – you plant assassinator! No worries, I have killed my own fair share of plants. I sometimes think I can make them come back to life as well, but alas – when they’re gone, they’re gone.

    Another great metaphor about life. Well done, Heather. 🙂

  2. I feel so bad when I murder my flowers (and even when they naturally die in the winter). I think we just have soft spots. I am GLAD you threw out the dead ones. Can you imagine if they stunk like other dead things? Forgiving and celebrating what we can do. Finding joy. And? Learning from our mistakes. It’s a beautiful thing. Your poinsettia is looking good!

    I got my first ones this year. A red and light pink. So far, so good. 🙂

  3. I’ve never understood how an essentially tropical plant was turned into a Christmas tradition. Even an exposure to freezing temps for a few minutes can make all the leaves drop off. Go figure. Glad the other ones made it back in one piece. On that note, I think I might have killed my Coleus plant this week…

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