September 8 brought sad news to our world. Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom and British Commonwealths left her charges. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve not known an equal to Her Majesty’s enduring integrity toward those within her realm. Most remarkably, England’s Sovereign remained on her feet until days before her death.

As most American students of my generation, I learned the history of our independence from the tyranny of King George III. I also came to recognize Queen Elizabeth’s face while watching our black and white television. Contemporaries, the young queen’s dark eyes, hair, and full smile resembled my mother’s.

While Sadie O’Brien’s coiffure gradually turned gray, so did Queen Elizabeth’s. Considering the extraordinary burdens she bore, I find it notable that the queen survived my mother by eleven years. While recent news reports alerted every tribe and nation of Her Majesty’s failing health, I at last allowed that England’s Queen is mortal.

This afternoon, September 10, two days after her death, I stepped into my perennial island for some solace. There’s no better way and place to mourn a beloved departed than to tend a garden.

I considered the weight of preparations upon the royal family and staff, civilizations bereft of Queen Elizabeth’s wisdom, love, and faith, and prayed—Lord Jesus, grant peace to her family and closest friends.

I pruned lilies in view of a pink hibiscus before two tall structures bearing sweet autumn clematis. The Clematis terniflora, also known as virgin’s bower, now bloom masses of white stars on the sunny side of the towers laden with vines. Within a week in the night, the scent of sweet clematis will reach my study window.

This timely gift symbolizes the lives of those who perished in New York City on the tragic day of September 11, 2001. Then, with fellow Americans safe in our homes, we watched the horror of suicide terrorists fly passenger jets into the towers of our World Trade Center.

How the heart and mind meditate when alone amongst flowering hibiscus and sweet autumn clematis!

I’ve plenty more pruning to do and vegetables to freeze before September 19, the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

Meanwhile, of Scots-Irish ancestry, I’m curious. What established the late monarch’s affection for Scotland? What achievements did Queen Elizabeth leave behind for her homeland and the world’s posterity?

Although I know little about Queen Elizabeth II’s life and times, I’m well familiar with the tasty Queen Cake, baked in Jinja town, Uganda, a British protectorate from 1894-1962.

While I visited my daughter, her husband, and adopted son in Uganda, December 2010, we purchased Queen Cakes from the local bakery down the street from their house.

Dear Reader, next Monday morning, in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, I shall bake Queen Cakes and brew English Breakfast Tea. Joining millions around this marvelous earth, I will observe her funeral-the lasting influence of her genteel life upon humankind.

Someday, we shall meet at the Supper of the Lamb, our eternal Sovereign and Lord Jesus Christ.

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