I know. Flowers wilt. And yes, flowers fade. But…
The delight that the beauty of a flower brings for a season or even for the moment is priceless.
My mother and I share a love for anything blooming. Since her stroke, there have been hard days, but there have been good days. The good days together have been sweet times of remembering and talking a lot about her childhood living in rural America where she would sneak off into the woods with her cousins to eat sour apples off the tree and pick wildflowers on Pumpkin Hill.
You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.
Those were hard times of a different sort. Her large family of seven children meant that every penny counted and hand-me-downs were necessary. Grandpa gardened and Grandma canned. Summer nights were spent outside watching fireflies and making home-made ice cream. Good times. Precious memories.
It was a simpler time and though they didn’t have much, there seemed to be a deep appreciation for things that nature provided, including the beauty of the blooming fruit trees in the spring and the harvest of wild blackberries in the summer.
When she tells the stories, she always remembers the flowers. She remembers the bright orange of the lilies that grew wild on the hill and the passion flowers that climbed up the side of grandma’s house. She talks about her Momma with tenderness and though she has been gone for almost 40 years, she misses her like it was yesterday.
A fresh reminder to treasure the moments we have together.
Details of events long past seem clear, while she can’t remember ever being at my house. I can describe the yard and the trees, and the events surrounding her visits, but her mind is void of any picture of what it looks like. Recent memories are lost.
I only live two hours away, but she is not quite ready for a visit, though she would love it. Spring is a bloom lover’s favorite, and our trees are gorgeous right now. So I captured it for her. It melted my heart to hear her “oo” and “ahh” over every burst of color, every glorious glimpse of spring emerging. You would have thought I had bought her a dozen roses.
She looked and she lingered. “The scents and the sounds are absent, but if you look long enough, you might just hear a bee buzzing in your mind. Or smell a slight scent in the air.” Memory is a powerful thing. Something we take for granted until it’s gone.
Hers has not been a perfect life, but the beauty of it is, it is hers.
Her story. Different than any one else’s,
and I’m grateful that I get to be a part of it.
You can bet there will be flowers for Mom on Mother’s Day, even if she doesn’t remember who they came from,
she will remember that she is loved.
“For now the winter is past;
the rain has ended and gone away.
The blossoms appear in the countryside.
The time of singing has come,
and the turtledove’s cooing is heard in our land.”