Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mama's Gardenias

Ahhh…Mother’s Day…That great Hallmark Holiday that it would be a crime to forget. Who doesn’t have strong feelings about their mother? They are the center of our universe from birth, and even when Daddy knows best, it’s often Mama who has the final say in family matters…at least around our house. My mama was the glue that held the family together through thick and thin, for richer and definitely for poorer, she always managed to keep it together. She was a central touchstone that allowed my brother and sister and me to communicate without communicating, and it kind of smoothed the sibling rivalry to get most of our news through Mama. Once she was gone we had to kind of reacquaint ourselves with each other, sometimes more successfully than others, but because it was important to Mama, I think it will always be important to us to be a family. Yesterday, I deadheaded over 150 blooms from the gardenia bush I planted to remind me of Mama. It was her favorite flower, although I don’t really remember her having a bush of her own. For her, gardenias were the reminder of dates who brought corsages and danced the night away. She asked for a gardenia corsage at each of the girls wedding. The smell of those gardenias as I pulled was as close as I can get to what Mama seemed to smell like, so I sat in an easy chair near the bush and just enjoyed the smell for a while after I finished deadheading… and thought of Mama. I wonder what symbol my children will remember me by? I hope it’s something as sweet as the gardenias that remind me of Mama who could be just as sweet as their smell…just not always, I’m afraid. But even when she was difficult, she put up with a whole lot more difficulty from me, the child she just couldn’t quite get to fit the mold she had in mind, and she loved me anyway. Happy Mother’s Day Mama! Blessings, Janie

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