In a Vase on Monday: For Ali

Alison Mary Lyon
Today’s vase is a tribute to my younger sister who passed away this week.

It seemed fitting to pick my biggest and brightest dahlias, and pick them in abundance – and so big, so bright and so abundant were they that it took many attempts to find a suitable vase. I would have liked to use a Caithness Glass vase as she was particularly fond of their original 1960s earthy colours, but none of mine were big or heavy enough and a fairly plain green jug had to do to hold ‘Dorothy Rose’, ‘Top Totty’ and ‘Geoffrey Kent’.

By the time I came to place them in the jug, I realised that many of the blooms were not at their freshest, some fading at the edges of their blowsiness and with odd petals dropping as I worked. However, it struck me that life is like that – we just carry on as normal whilst we get progressively older and bits of us start to fail, sooner for some than for others. Likewise, although the dahlias may be big and bright they are not arranged in any cohesive way but nevertheless the overall effect is still pleasing – and indeed most of us live very ordinary lives, cramming as much into them as we can, and the overall effect is most pleasing to those who know and care about us.

So goodbye Ali, you have left family and friends with many fond memories of a busy life ended too soon.

Our Monday vases are created for so many reasons – for our own pleasure, as a gift, as a tribute, or just because…whatever the reason, picking flowers or foliage from our own gardens is a joy in itself. If you are able to create your own vase today then we would be delighted if you chose to share it with the rest of us on IAVOM by leaving the usual links.

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83 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: For Ali

  1. tidalscribe says:

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your sister.

  2. elaine174 says:

    Treasure the happy memories it will help you through. x.

  3. the running wave says:

    My heart goes out to you Cathy. I too lost my sister, a long time ago now, when she was only 32. Part of you goes too. Your flowers are gorgeous and your sister would love them and their vibrant colours. Life is vibrant and has to be celebrated all the time, because it is constantly reaffirming itself. Be kind to yourself and hopefully you can spend some good time in the garden, a healing and restorative place to be. Love to you. Amanda

  4. Cathy says:

    Oh, how sad for you Cathy. My heartfelt sympathy. The dahlias are so pretty and what you say about life is so true. I haven’t done my photos yet so I’ll leave my link later. xx

  5. Solitaire says:

    Beautiful tribute 🎐

  6. I’m so, so sorry for your loss Cathy. I bet Ali would have loved these big, beautiful blooms, as well as your beautifully written tribute. Take care.

  7. jenmac13 says:

    Hi Cathy, sorry to hear of your loss.

    What a lovely tribute you’ve made for your sister, cramming in all that vibrant colour and wonderful abundance into your perfectly imperfect creation. I hope you find joy in the garden at difficult times

    My collection this week includes roses, aster and nasturtium. I find joy in the garden whenever I look for it…

    Jen x

  8. Cath Moore says:

    deepest sympathies for your loss…I think she would love the vase of Dahlias,,,they are beautiful.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cath, yes, she has only ever had a small and largely paved garden and would have found it hard to grow them herself so I am pleased I could give generously today

  9. susurrus says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this news and hope you’re looking after yourself at this difficult time. It’s a lovely picture and tribute to your sister. I like your comparison of the flowers with people cramming things into their ordinary lives.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susan, we are a pretty stoical family but it doesn’t make it any less sad. The comparisons were very much spur of the moment and just seemed apt at the time

  10. Heyjude says:

    That’s a lovely richly coloured bouquet in tribute of your sister, so young to leave this world. My heart goes out to you and your family. Take comfort in your lovely garden and take time to grieve.

  11. bcparkison says:

    And life goes on.
    When my younger sister passed,almost 49 years ago, she was 23 and oddly I felt more sadness for my mother than for myself. Maybe because I was the mother of two little boys and the thought of them leaving was just impossible to imagine.
    I pray Gods peace for all of your family. Oh…by the way…the flowers are beautiful. i must try to grow some.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Beverley, yes, our Mum is still alive and at 93 probably did not expect my sister to go first despite the latter’s illnesses

  12. My condolences on the loss of your sister, a difficult loss and too early. It’s interesting what the garden teaches us sometimes about life. I love the exuberant Dahlias and am jealous as usual. Oddly, I planted some tubers 2 years ago, they have come up twice and just came up again and have not bloomed yet. Perverse things, those Dahlias. Here is my vase and I hope you will find comfort in your garden.

  13. Pingback: In a Vase: Arty Daffodil – Cath's Camera

  14. Joe Owens says:

    Wow Cathy, so sorry to hear this. My brother passed away in 1997 at age 29. It is so long ago it is hard to remember him in my life now. I will tell you time is the greatest ally of being able to just remember the good. I love your dahlia bouquet. Mine are sizzling right now with a bounty of blooms!

  15. What a beautiful tribute and metaphor for life. I am so sorry for your loss dear Cathy.

  16. Kris P says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Cathy. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Your floral tribute is lovely and I hope preparing it and this post helped a little as you move through the difficult process of grieving. (HUG)

    Here’s my post:

  17. Noelle says:

    What a hard time you and your family are having, and I love the tribute you have given her, down to mentioning what vase she would have liked. Here is my contribution this week:

  18. pbmgarden says:

    I’m saddened by this news Cathy, yet uplifted by your tender tribute. Peace and comfort to you.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie, I didn’t especially want to broadcast it but IAVOM means such a lot to me that it seemed the right place for a tribute

  19. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Experimenting | Words and Herbs

  20. Cathy says:

    Here is my vase link for today Cathy. Wishing you all the best. xx

  21. cathytea says:

    My condolences to you and your family.

  22. Maggie says:

    Cathy, what a beautiful and loving tribute to your sister. I have lost two sisters so I understand how you might be feeling. Thank you for sharing memories of your sister. I will carry you both in my heart today. Sending you love. 💕

  23. My heart goes out to you and your family Cathy. X

  24. Such joyful colours to celebrate your sister Cathy. You know why the NGS charity is close to my heart. My vase was for my by appointment today.
    Be kind to yourselves x

  25. Christina says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sister’s passing; I love the photographer of her that you chose to share with us. I hope the pain of her passing soon turns to very happy memories of her life. Your beautiful dahlias are a lovely tribute to her. Hugs.

  26. Eliza Waters says:

    I’m sorry to read of your sister’s passing, Cathy. May your fond memories of her sustain you through the days ahead.
    My vases this week:

  27. Oh I am so sorry to hear your sad news dear Cathy. What beautiful flowers and such a lovely photo of your sister. She looked as if she was having great fun. Will be thinking of you and your family. Take care ((())) xxx

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Anna. I all but remember taking this photo, way back in 1966! She has only ever had a teeny tiny garden of her own but has always still got pleasure from it

  28. Martha says:

    Cathy, I send you my condolences on the death of your sister. Losing a sibling must hurt deeply, and a younger sibling’s death seems out of what we expect as the natural order. I am very sorry for your family’s loss. Martha

    Sent from my iPad


  29. magpiesue says:

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. What a sweet tribute to your sister. And yes, don’t flowers make us feel better, especially when we’ve managed to grow them ourselves?

  30. Ah Cathy, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your sister. Your dahlias will always now be a beautiful reminder of her.

  31. Sharon says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your sister’s death. The dahlias you chose are a lovely way to remember her. My thoughts are with you.

  32. With great sympathy I send my condolences. Your dahlias are a nice tribute to your sister.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Lisa – we nearly had a frost last night so I am pleased I was able to pick such a big bunch before they are seen off by the cold. Hopefully they will be flowering for several more weeks yet

  33. She was the same age as my sis. I am so sorry. Bless your family.

  34. Cathy my deepest condolences. I deeply regret the death of her little sister Ali. In the photo she is very beautiful and playing very funny. What he has written in his blog is a tribute to his sister along with the wonderful bouquet of Dalias that they would surely love. Remember the good times you spent with her. And your garden will be a good place to think and grieve. My heart and my thoughts are with you Cathy. Hugs. Much love for your family and for you. Take care of yourself and don’t let yourself cry. Although crying helps, but not too much. Greetings from Margarita xxxx

  35. karen says:

    So sorry to read this Cathy. Such a shock. And she was far too young. I never had a sister, but would have loved one. I have three younger brothers I am very close to. Your words and flowers are such a lovely tribute to Ali. Take comfort in your garden, your family and your friends on here. Sending all my love. Thinking of you. Karen xxx

  36. A lovely tribute to your sister. The loss of a sibling is a particular type of loss – someone who has been there for most of your life, sharing many similar family memories. So glad you had a recent family gathering. Much love to you and your Mum.

  37. rusty duck says:

    Oh Cathy, I’m so sorry to read of your loss. Yes, far too soon x

  38. Sam says:

    I’m so sorry to read this, Cathy. I hope you are ok. Sending deepest sympathies xx

  39. tonytomeo says:

    I am sorry about your loss. I am also sorry to be so tardy about saying so – more than a week.

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