Flowers For Granny
I miss my Granny. Its been almost six years since she passed away and sometimes I still miss her so badly it hurts. Mother's Day is one of those times when I feel this way. Today was always such a special day for Granny. The whole family would gather in at her house and she would be showered with gifts and flowers and cards. She always bought herself a new dress for the occasion and she'd always have an orchid pinned to her lapel. Granny insisted on cooking for every holiday. I don't think it would have been a holiday to her without it! Mother's Day was no exception. She'd bake a ham and prepare some side dishes and desserts while my mom and my aunts provided other things to complete the meal, and we would all have such a wonderful time.
Now that is all just a bundle of memories. The whole clan doesn't get together on holidays anymore. Everybody does their own separate family thing and while it is always nice to be with my folks, Mother's Day isn't the same since Granny went on.
I have a fantastic mother who I adore. She gives unselfishingly and she always makes for us that safe haven to go whenever the world gets a little too difficult. I am proud to honor my Mom every day of the year and having one special day set aside annually to make her feel special is just wonderful. I know now how she must have felt when Granny was living and she got to do the same things that we now do for her. There is no feeling like a mother's love.
Granny was my safe place for a long time. Many years of my life were spent with her and I was so blessed to have her for all the time that I did. She was once my best friend and there is always a part of her that remains alive to me. Sometimes I can still hear her voice if I listen closely enough. She wasn't perfect, and she never claimed to be, but to me she was the epitome of what it was to be a mother. She ran the family with a iron hand but she loved us all so much that none of us can claim to be who we are today without paying her the tribute that she is due. She was a figure of strength. She imparted this gift to us and those of us who chose to accept it are better people for doing so.
Now, in the years since I haven't been able to be with her physically on days like this, I have a little ritual that I carry out to make the day complete for me. It's not anything original or specific only to me, but it's something that gives me pleasure and I know it's also something that she is aware of, wherever she is now, and I hope it gives her pleasure too.
I buy roses, which were one of her favorite flowers, and I take them to the cemetery to put on her grave. I stay there for a few minutes and imagine that we're having a special conversation. I say hello to Papaw too. Then I place my roses in the vase on her monument. Other relatives bring flowers too, but I don't think I could feel that today is Mother's Day if I didn't take my own and have those few minutes there.
It doesn't make me depressed and I don't feel maudlin while I'm doing this either. I know that she is gone and I know that she is with me wherever I am; not just while I'm at the cemetery. I didn't even always buy her roses on Mother's Day when she was here with us. I usually bought her a bottle of her favorite perfume then, but wouldn't that be silly now? Taking a bottle of Estee Lauder's Youth Dew to the cemetery? Ha ha. Yes, that's a little too Stephen King-ish. So I take roses and that makes the day special still.
Flowers for Granny just seems to say it all.
And that is my sole focus for now.