My stepmother is a painter. Mostly she paints plants, especially hydrangeas. When she and Dad married (he was 87), a large potted hydrangea occupied their bay window. It became one of Dad’s chores to carry this awkwardly sprawling houseplant outdoors in springtime and back outside each autumn. Dad passed away two winters ago. A neighbor helped carry the hydrangea out and back. That fall, for the first time, scales infested the hydrangea. I got a frantic call, helped talk my stepmom through the treatment process. The plant has healed now. I like to think it symbolizes the fading of grief.