Flowers Define Me

by caccy46

Mother's Day holds traditions in our family; my husband's gift to me is always a joyful shopping trip to my favorite greenhouse for annual flowers and herbs to adorn my pots and enhance my summertime cooking, and, most treasured of all, to fill in my beloved perrennial garden for my old friends who did not survive the winter. It is a day filled with mixed emotions: first a trip to the cemetary to leave flowers at my mother's and father's graves (actually snipping fragrant lilacs from the cemetary, always in bloom this time of year); and then a celebration of my motherhood to two grown but still young children; one with severe mental illness and the other on the brink of beginninng life in the real world with hopes and dreams in front of her. The first bouquet of flowers, wrapped in supermarket cellophane, small and sad with mums and baby's breath, stuck in a glass pitcher by my husband, the transporter of the gift from my son, sits on the kitchen counter; a precious reminder of his sweet thoughtfulness admidst his daily suffering of isolation and keeping his demons at bay. The second bouquet, much larger and filled with all sorts of lovely blooms, arrives that morning with my daughter and her boyfriend, who join us for brunch before driving back to college. Kisses, thanks - warm wishes are swapped - as I carefully unwrap the flowers, cut them and clean off the greens before placing them in a vase suitable and large enough to display their beauty and bulk. Hours later, before going to bed, I see the murkey water in the small, glass pitcher, looking pitiful next to the other grand show of blooms; and carefully, lovingly, I remove the cellophane, clean each stem, snip and arrange them with fresh, clear water and carry them to my bedroom for their place of honor - a daily reminder for the next week that they were carefully and lovingly selected for me, probably paid for by sacrificing a pack of cigarettes; I am mindful to change the water daily and give them each a snip of hope to hang on for as long as they possibly can.

6S

caccy46, author of Remembering Youth, is not afraid to get her hands really dirty.