Last evening I was thinking about what to post as a ‘favourite’ photo when the phone rang. It brought the news that a close friend had died that afternoon.

This morning when thinking of her, I remembered that her favourite tree had been the Tree-fuschia (Halleria lucida), and so in her memory I have chosen photographs of the Halleria lucida for this week’s photo challenge, with the theme ‘Favourites’. These photographs were first featured in a post on naturebackin in June this year.

Tree Fuschia in flower in an indigenous garden in South Africa

My friend had been ill for some time. Despite her going annually for a mammogram and check up, her cancer was not detected. Only when she had symptoms from metastasised cancer did she receive a diagnosis. She had so much to live for.  A series of treatments not only gave her over two more precious years, but also controlled her symptoms, until eventually the balance tipped too far and the side effects of treatment outweighed the benefits.

As far as possible, she and her partner made the most of the time left. She loved the ocean and beach walks, with their dog running like the wind on the sands. She loved nature, animals, music, books and art, and she was an accomplished sculptor. She had the most refreshingly droll and dry sense of humour, and she was a fantastic friend.

She and her partner were a team, and she was lovingly looked after at home where she died in the room looking out into the garden they had made together.

Even though ill, earlier this year she wrote a post for naturebackin about a woodpecker at her window. You can read it here.

The Halleria lucida is a favourite of mine too. The word lucida, describing a quality of the leaves, means shining or bright.

She too will shine on – in the hearts and memories of those of us who loved her.

Carpet of fallen flowers of the Tree Fuschia

At this time of holidays and celebrations, with a new year around the corner, it is fitting to remember and cherish those who are dear to us.

Wishing you all peace and the comfort of love and friendship. May we protect and appreciate each other and the planet that sustains us.

Posted in response to the final Weekly Photo Challenge of 2017: Favourites.

Posted by Carol