Each year, right now, the gardenia's bloom in my back yard. When we moved into the house I was drawn to their complete package of beauty and fragrance. If I had seen these flowers before, I had no memory of them. I just knew they were something important to capture and enjoy.
Last year I shot a few of these wonderful flowers and sent them off to my family, only to hear a wonderful love story. See paternal grandfather, DjaDja, brought these to my Babcha (grandmother) when they were dating since she loved them. This was expensive during the war, especially up in the cooler climate of Boston. My Babcha enjoyed them so much, they made up her bridal bouquet!
That love story took place during World War II, but I only found out about it the day I sent her the photos some seventy years later. For years that lovely story laid dormant, untold and a my connection to these flowers unknown. Only by sharing this image, which cannot compare to the real thing, did I learn how they are part of my story.
Since that day last year, when my Babcha sent me a lovely note, I've found myself anxious for them to reappear. I've also shared other flowers with my wife a little more impulsively than in the past. With each gift I think of my Babcha and DjaDja as I knew them as a child around thirty five years ago. Two people very much in love, smiling together, and loving each other through the better, poorer, health and sickness parts of life.
So with the gardenia bloom I think of those two people in love, and try to show my wife the same devotion I remember my DjaDja doting on his bride. That is a legacy I don't want to ever forget.
So as i used to tell him....Thanks Dja