“Cowardly little atheist finds God 20 minutes after being told he’s dying”

I know. You saw it coming, but you haven't heard the details, so here goes. I made the following to-do list when my second PSA came back:

1) Run in circles while screaming and flailing my chest with my fists.
2) Find God so I check item number one off the list.

While I was still on number one, Peggy said, “You’ve done this same stupid running amuck display for years now, but am I imagining it, or is this the enhanced version? Also, did it ever occur to you that the reason your shoulders hurt all the time is that you’re forever swinging your arms?”

So it was that with my dear wife's gentle encouragement, I moved on to item two—I found God. I found two gods in fact, one male and one female (the Wiccans taught me that deities come in the same genders as people). Their names are Aphelandra (top) and Aglaonema (bottom), and I can’t tell for sure, but I think Aphelandra is the goddess because she’s shorter and because Aglaonema's stem is big and erect.

My first houseplant was a Spathiphyllum (peace lily) that my father left when he died in 1994. I didn’t want a houseplant, but it was a living celebration of him, and it was also evidence of a love for beauty that he seldom displayed. I saw caring for it as an extension of caring for him. Besides, I asked myself, how long could a houseplant live anyway. It’s now 19, and I wouldn't be surprised but what it survives me--after which Peggy will probably kill it with love, aka too much water. 

My Aglaonema is simply too beautiful for words, and despite its look of fragility, we get along famously (I don't do high-maintenance plants). I’ve even been looking for another Aglaonema (one called Silver Queen) for a year now and am starting to think I might have to drive to Portland for it… 

If I were rich, I would live in a conservatory. The beauty of plants inspires in me the desire to make my own life beautiful, and their presence fills me with joy.