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The Apple Truly Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

Responding to my daughter's Patch blog, I am awed by the different reasons that brought us to the same love of gardening.

I write a monthly newsletter for Survivors of Suicide (someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.) I have done this for over 30 years.  Yesterday, my column for May focused a bit on Mother's Day. 

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 ?  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!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Winifred Lauder May 02, 2012 at 02:31 PM
The Garden Club of Downers Grove has been privileged to have several mother-daughter members of the Club over the years. Grace Morris and daughter Sherry Schmidt Noorlag along with Eleanor Putlack and daughter Claire Putlack are current members. Grace amd Claire are past presidents of the Club.
Carol Hayner May 04, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Flowers are a wonderful tribute to all mothers. The Hilltop Garden Club of Oswegoland would like to invited everyone to our Garden and Mother's Day Baskets sale Saturday,May 12th, Mother's Day weekend, from 9 to noon. We'll have over 60 beautiful baskets for moms as well as flowers she can plant in her garden. Carol Hayner
Brooke Elizabeth May 05, 2012 at 12:13 AM
This brought tears to my eyes. I just love you and Jen to a million pieces. I still hate Mother's Day with all that I am. Being a mom of 4 beautiful precious kids I wish I could enjoy it again. This is my 4th year without her and year 5 of her passing away. Someday I will get there, get to the place where i will again feel happy on that day.I will be celerating my mothers day this sunday, where i can be with my kids and not be haunted by the absence. My own way of dealing with Mother-less day
Stephanie Weber May 05, 2012 at 01:47 AM
We love you, too, Brooke. You WILL get there; you are well on your way. Your mom is with mine. They are looking down at us and smiling and saying, " we did good. They turned out well."
Brooke Elizabeth May 05, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Those quite possibly be the very words that have saved Mothers Day. We did turn out well didn't we?!?!! My mom LOVED flowers as well, as a little kid we were always at Builders Square and Franks Nursery. We would walk for hours and I loved every minute of it. I dont have a green thumb just yet, more like a black one! I could kill plastic flowers..lol. So maybe this is the year, since I will be 32 that I get my flower nitch. Menards here I come!!! ( Thanks Grammy )

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