This morning as I read my daughter's blog on Patch (Jen Slepicka) I chuckled since she and I are so often in sync with our thoughts. There she is talking about her plastic flowers and her gardening.
My own mom wasn't a gardener. In fact, her idea of gardening was to have her 2 daughters pull weeds. In later years, when we girls were adults, she had us plant annuals in a little patch of her front yard.
Like Jen, I came to gardening later in life (like in my mid 30's). After Mom died, Mother's Day for years became almost unbearable. While my then-husband reminded me that I was still a mom, my grief over Mom's death by suicide ruled. I could accept the gifts from the kids ( I loved the homemade ones!) and eat breakfast with them but my day had to be "out and away" with my thoughts. There was a house in our neighborhood that I liked and in the spring the entire area around the house was planted with pale pink impatiens. Never having gardened, I didn't even know the name of the flower!
I took myself off to a flower center the week-end of my third Mother's Day (or "motherless day" as I thought of it then) and found red and white impatiens. The tradition began where I would spend that day gardening, alone with my thoughts for at least several hours.
We were living in West Dundee then and eventually moved to Aurora. Down the street from our house was a darling little pink house; planted all around the front of the house and the big tree were pink impatiens! (Here's another irony: the owner of that house wrote me a beautiful comment after my first Patch blog. Thank you, Jill!) So the Mother's Day tradition, the red and white impatiens, lived on.
My 4 kids know that I am in my garden on Mother's Day. The time spent there may only be an hour. I have a special rock that says, "I thought of you today" and that is there in memory of Mom. Mother's Day, some 30 plus years after her death, is a whole new game. I love to see my daughters as Moms; I hear from or see all the kids that day in a very informal fashion. They all ask about the garden. The need to "be" in that place with my thoughts is gone; it's now more of a tradition.
The icing on my cake is to have a daughter who gardens and loves it. Do I remember those plastic flowers she blogged about? Indeed, I do. I was mildly horrified but also quite amused. As she spread her wings and got more and more into gardening, I felt another, different sort of kinship with her. Her many trips to the flower places, her gathering "donations" from friends' yards, and her pure joy in witnessing the results can almost take my breath away.
I love Mother's Day! Thanks, Jen!