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There is a French Christmas carol called Un Flambeau, Jeanette Isabelle. I have no idea who the first Jeanette Isabelle was, but I stole her name. I stole it and I gave it to my plant. It was Christmastime, you see, in 2009. My grandmother gave me a lovely little green plant. This plant was so lovely and Christmas-y that I had to christen it with a lovely and Christmas-y name. Jeanette Isabelle seemed absolutely perfect. I decided to call her Jenny Belle for short.

Unfortunately, I have not proven myself to be a very thoughtful caretaker of plants. Over time, through the erratic changing of Oklahoma seasons and constant moving of a college dormitory resident, Jenny Belle had aged quickly and begun to require more frequent attention. I did what I could, but I often forgot to water her soil and replenish it with necessary nutrients. A few of Jenny’s stems died away when she was about one year old.

However, Jeanette Isabelle was not to be taken from our lives so soon. When the springtime came again in 2011, her last two remaining stems were becoming very strong, and she was also growing four new bright green shoots. She continued to live and thrive, growing darker every day. Yet I had not learned my lesson, and once again I occasionally neglected to water our poor potted friend. Those bright new shoots died away, one-by-one, and Jenny lost one of her fully grown stems. After this tragedy, she barely considered herself a plant any longer. She was but a stem in a dried-up bit of soil.

That springtime of sadness paved the way for this most recent devastation. I regret to say that Jeanette Isabelle’s life has come to a most tragic culmination. Her final stem has drooped one last time. Her green leaves are curled and drying. Her bright red pot is spending its last moments here on my desk. There truly seems to be no final hope for the dearest plant I have ever chanced to call my own, yet she shall always have a place in my very-much-decidedly-not-green thumb.

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