My ex-husband (we'll refer to him as "Jerk" from here on out) liked working in the yards. This was a good compromise for us since I despised yard work. He made some really good choices and purchases when it came to plant life and really took care so that we had blooms year round in competition with my parents next door. Around two years before the Big Split, he decided to put a rose bush against our house. Off he went to buy the lattice because he was sure this thing was going to grow grow grow. I laughed because I knew he was putting it in the worst possible place for a plant. The ground was hard and dry and just not conducive for thriving rose blooms. But, he perservered. He watered it faithfully and I even pinched hit when he was working so his "baby" would survive. He lovingly spread plant food around the base and I'm sure there was a conversation in there between him and that rose bush. A year later, we had a few beautiful blooms. How proud he was of that bush. We must have taken 20 pictures and each bloom was recorded on film (was before digital cameras, friends).
Then came the Big Split. In the mass confusion, the rose bush was forgotten as it was February and it wasn't time to bloom. When March came Jerk arrived to pick up the girls for visitation. Casually he asked me if I was watering the rose bush. No, I replied. He got antsy. He asked me if maybe I thought I should. Nah, I shrugged....just knowing it was squeezing his soul that I cared not for that mangly rose bush. He left without another word.
A month later, the bush didn't appear as lovely as the year before. Again, Jerk inquired about it. Finally I told him to go dig the blessed thing up and take it with him. It didn't matter to me. (Nerves were quite raw between the two of us) I saw Mr. Hyde start to appear and braced myself. He informed me that he was going to leave that bush right where it was so when it died, everyone driving by could see it withered and brown on the vine and they would just KNOW that it was all my fault and blah blah blah. (I'm thinking there's some inner issues he was really referring to in that conversation). HA...I replied....I wouldn't touch that rose bush with a ten foot pole! Let it die. See if I care.
Oh, the hurtful things that people can say to each other.
That rose bush did suffer. It had a bad couple of years. Then...all of a sudden...it's gotten a life of it's own. It's started blooming and growing at an amazing speed. Right now it's sitting out there with over a hundred gorgeous blooms on it. It's higher than the house. I think if I just leave it alone, it will take over and cover the house and we'll live in some Sleeping Beauty like fantasy land. Okay...overboard....I have an active imagination.
I guess what it boils down to is that the rose bush is beautiful in spite of me and Jerk. Our dislike, frustrations, and just plain pettiness have washed over it and in the end.....it has won.
It didn't need either one of us to survive.
That's beautiful spite.