“I knew that it was my grandmother from Heaven, seeing her iris bloom for the first time.”

It says here, “Do you have a favorite flower? What — why is it your favorite?”
Well, my favorite flower is a white iris. The white bearded iris. It’s so beautiful, so beautiful, but I gotta tell you a story about the white bearded iris.

When I was five years old, my grandmother went blind. So I really didn’t know her — I remember her wearing glasses. That’s the only memory I have of her being a sighted woman. All my memories of are — are her being blind, except that one. And she paid what she thought was an exorbitant price when I was about 13 years old for a flower tuber. It turned out to be a hybrid bearded white iris, and she planted it in, next to her house where she knew where it was. And every spring we’d go up there — and we went up there more than every spring. But in the springtime, when we were there, she would always ask about her flower. “Is my flower out? Is it blooming? I, I haven’t felt any flowers on it.” And it never bloomed. It never, ever, ever bloomed. The greenery was there, but the flower never bloomed.

When I was 17, my grandmother passed away. My mother dug up that white bearded iris even though it never bloomed and brought it home and planted it in November. The next year, in the springtime, that iris — I gotta back up a little bit.

If anybody knows anything about irises, they usually take two years to bloom. The first year, you put them in, they get the greenery. The second year they grow, they get the flower. But the following spring came up this beautiful white iris, as big as a dinner plate. It was so beautiful. I never seen a flower like that since. I’ve seen plenty of white irises and plenty of white bearded irises, but I’ve never seen one quite as spectacular as that one was. And I knew that it was my grandmother from Heaven, making — see- — seeing her iris bloom for the first time.

It still gives me chills when I think about it.

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