Earlier this week the grocery store cashier offered me a coupon for wiring flowers to my mother. The offer shocked me, not because I’m adverse to discounts, but because I hadn’t realized Mother’s Day was coming up. And because of course no florist will wire flowers to heaven. I absently refused the coupon offer and walked out to the car with my groceries, thinking about flowers and Mom and the festive day coming up.
Most years of late I’ve been successful at blocking Mother’s Day out, ignoring the advertisements and the rows and rows of cards with pink envelopes. I can be genuinely happy for coworkers excitedly talking of brunches and gifts. Progress.
This year I recognize even more progress as I think without pain of the flowers we used to give my Mom for Mother’s Day. Every year we (or she, I don’t remember) picked out flats of petunias and called them our Mother’s Day gift to her.
And I remember other flowers too, the springs we dug up marsh marigolds from the swamp over in the woods and lugged them home in buckets to be planted along the lake shore at home. I don’t really know if she wanted marsh marigolds, or us covered in mud for that matter, but she always seemed happy to see them.
And then this morning I heard a radio commercial for chocolate covered strawberries that had to be ordered by tonight in order for delivery to Mom before Sunday. It was a long ad, filled with descriptions of juicy strawberries dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with nuts.
The commercial made the strawberries sound good, but it mostly reminded me of my Mom standing in the middle of a strawberry patch, and the way that first warm, ripe strawberry tasted right from the field. All the dark chocolate and nuts in the world will never make that advertised strawberry taste as good as the ones we ate under the hot summer sun with Mom all those years ago.
So as we approach this Mother’s Day I think of Mom, and how happy she was with petunias and marsh marigolds and strawberries warmed in the sun. I bet most mothers are the same. Show up with a handful of dandelions and they’d be happy.
To all the mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day. And to those of you with mothers still on this earth take a moment and thank them. A flat of petunias might be just the thing.
Miss you Mom.