in honour of Florence Marigold: project #FlorenceMarigoldinBloom
Our sweet girl, Florence Marigold Evanow, went to be with her Jesus on May 9th 2015 in the late afternoon. We held her in our arms as she passed away at Canuck Place. She was surrounded by love, by family, and by the incredible support of all the staff at Canuck Place.
Florence was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1 at 4 months old. We named her, unaware of what the future would hold.
Florence means flourishing.
Marigold is a flower.
Our girl passed away in marigold season—springtime.
Marigolds have been used for a wide variety of purposes throughout history. Ancient Greek and Roman cultures, as well as Indian and Middle Eastern cultures have all used marigolds for everything from treating various health ailments, dying fabrics, creating cosmetics and seasoning foods.
The Latin name for the European marigold was calendula, which is derived from the Latin word calendae ‘the first day of the month.’ The word has also been translated as ‘a little calendar or little clock.’ The name was appropriate since the flower bloomed throughout the entire calendar year and provided monastery gardens and altars with a constant supply of golden blooms. Like the sunflower, the calendula blossom follows the sun; as a result, it has earned the nickname “Sun’s Bride.”
Marigold is also a spiritual name as it’s a contraction of the phrase “Mary’s gold.” The golden flowers have been associated with the Virgin Mary for centuries.
In India, marigolds are used in celebrations, weddings and worship. It is a a sign of respect when one is adorned with a chain of marigolds. I spent many months in India. It was a life changing experience full of joy and sorrow. It changed me deeply. This was part of the reason we named her Marigold.
In Mexico, marigolds also represent the fragility of life. Dia de los Muertos, is a holiday that honours the deceased. Marigolds are planted as a symbol of remembrance and respect.
After Flo’s diagnosis, and as the years went by, I learned some other things about marigolds. And I realized the Spirit had whispered to us as we decided on names for our girl.
Marigolds represent grief and sorrow.
Marigolds are the birth flower for the month of October. I was born in October and we were married in October. It is my favourite month of the year.
We will be planting marigolds for the rest of our lives. I will whisper her name when I see these blossoms. I will remember her when I bury my nose into the pungent, sweet petals. Her room was full of marigolds as she passed away and in the hours after. I tucked them behind her ears and into her hands. She left us, with marigold blossoms in her hands.
Many of you have already planted marigolds in her honour, all over the world. I never want to forget that! So we are starting a hashtag, to keep track of all these blooms.
If you plant marigolds, or add them to a planter, or see their scattered petals on the street, or decide to plant them at your home or office or neighbourhood garden, snap a photo and post it to Instagram or Facebook using this tag below:
This works particularly well on Instagram. I know I’ll be checking every day. It gives me so much comfort and joy. You can follow along, whether you use Instagram or not. But if you do, you can find me @michaelaevanow
When something is in bloom, it is flourishing and in a state of great beauty. Bloom on little flower girl. Flourish in your heavenly home.
A garden of marigolds …. orange, yellow and rust,
Bright, soft and rich, touched with golden dust.
Quiet and regal, sun kissed and fair,
Basil-citrus fragrance that mellows the moist air.
A thousand smiling marigolds, a thousand smiling suns,
Sweet nectar, ambrosia, for natures gentle ones.
Woven into garlands, yellow with tips of red,
Woven into memories with many a words unsaid.
Orange, yellow, rust … to love, to pray, to mourn,
Golden, sun kissed, blessed … marigolds that life adorns.
-A poem by Nishu Mathur
This is my hope for you all as you dig down deep into the soil and see these vibrant flowers grow:
May love be the rich soil where their lives take root. May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together with all of Your people they will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings.
Ephesians 3:17-19 (VOICE)