adriana suriano
2 min readApr 29, 2021

my parents would plant shrubs, flowers, even trees when someone they loved was born. my 17 old nephew has a beautiful fir in their backyard. my 13 old nephew has a cherry tree.

i plant flowers when people i loved pass away. herbs in cedar boxes for my Nonna. when she came to this country and bought her home she made sure it had a huge backyard. a fig tree. rows of tomato plants. the Roma variety. she would grind the tomatoes into gravy that would get canned and stored for the winter.

when Liz relapsed and passed away, i planted bright yellow and orange marigolds. she had the brightest personality. her apartment had vision boards with how the rest of her sober life would be.

my mother in law loved roses. bright red ones. my husband and i planted a rose bush and a miniature one in her honor. it’s usually the first rose bush to bloom.

my love of plants and flower directly comes from my mother. so it’s only right that most of our city outdoor space is dedicated to her. her middle name was Rosina, but everyone called her Rose. we planted a pink rose bush. a red one. miniature rose bushes in bright orange and red. tiger lilies. ones that are yellow. bulbs of tulips that reach so high to the sun in the spring. i care for them meticulously. it’s part of my daily routine.

just yesterday purple and white petunias and pansies were planted and watered for you Waldon. you and I got to know each other as you referred DC’s most vulnerable residents to my housing program. you worked tirelessly. always available for calls from those suffering. you bore witness and to people’s pain and turned their lives around with hope, compassion, and a pair of keys to their apartment. white and purple pansies and petunias are planted in your honor.

rest in power my loved ones. you are forever part of this earth.

adriana suriano

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.