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Art Show: Think Pink 2013

A rose by any other name

by Amie R Gillingham

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Art: A rose by any other name by Artist Amie R Gillingham
When I think about my friend Paige, who is currently battling Stage IV breast cancer, I invariably think of flowers. We've known each other forever, but we lost touch after college, in part because I briefly moved 3000 miles away. When we reconnected a few years ago, it was over flowers.

Paige, her husband, and her son, live in what was once her grandmother's home. The struggle has been to make it into HER home, with new memories, and new flowers. I'm the botanical friend, so I've been on countless shopping trips to bring in new plants. I've also divided and shared a good number of plants from my own garden. Slowly but surely, it's all coming together, despite Lowes refusing to sell her any more "guaranteed" plants due to her sometimes black thumb.

So, why a rose for Paige? I think it embodies her perfectly. She's one of the most beautiful people I know (and has a past in modeling to back up my bias). Roses are showy, typically the star amid other background plants. Roses also are seemingly fragile, fleeting. But there's strength, too, and a hint of thorns. That's her, too.

I think of the garden she and I have been working on together, the bulbs she's put in for spring. She's living for the future, for knowing that next year's garden will be even better. And I'm committed to doing everything I can to make sure she's here to see it. This rose deserves lots and lots of future springs.




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