“When you have a daughter will you name her after me?” My Grammu asked me quite a lot. I don’t know if she bugged anyone else about naming a daughter after her or just me, her eldest granddaughter. Whenever she asked I’d smile uncomfortably, make some noncommittal noises, and change the subject.
For the record, the daughter I never had would have been named Elizabeth, Jessica, Veronica, or Frances depending on the year. Muriel was not a contender.
However, I have a plant named Muriel. She was a condolence plant my employer sent when Grammu died in 2003. For years Muriel thrived. She thrived so well she started to take over the half wall separating my kitchen from the dining room. There are still marks on the wall where I had to pull her vines down.
In 2017, Muriel took a turn. No matter what I did she kept dying. When she was down to two healthy looking leaves I plucked her from the the usual pot and put it in a small jar of water hoping she’d rally.
She’s rallying. There was a setback when I replanted her, but today she’s up to seven leaves. Be impressed by my green thumb!