It’s a spectacular Sunday … just perfect for all the moms out there.
While it would have been preferable to get my miles walked in the great outdoors, I needed to go grocery shopping, so I killed two birds with one stone. (Sorry birds.)
Going to the store on Mother’s Day is bittersweet, though not so much as in 2010, the year I lost my mom. Just seeing the greeting cards, decorated cakes, candy and flowers going out the door to happy moms, when I knew I would not be buying any cards or gifts anymore, hit me hard.
For decades, I always bought my annuals and hanging baskets during the week preceding Mother’s Day as the selection was best. I’d have to stash them in the garage as it was still nippy out at night. Every morning, before work, I’d lug flat after flat, and all the baskets, out into the sunshine and haul them back in before nightfall, so, I was glad when Memorial Day weekend arrived so I could put them all out for good. I remember that first year after my mom passed away, I went into the nursery area only to be assailed by a bevy of beautiful hanging baskets and porch pots with signs proclaiming “for Mom on her special day”.
That made me sad, even though the only flowers I ever bought for my mom were Anthuriums – that was for her Valentine’s Day birthday each year, as they resembled hearts. I planted Bleeding Hearts twice and the rabbits ate them so I gave up on that and bought a few clematis plants and trellises for the backyard as Mom admired them climbing up the pillars at the Olive Garden restaurant; unfortunately they didn’t really amount to much until after she was gone. As to candy, I bought her “Turtles”, those ooey-gooey pecan and caramel chocolate clusters … she was crazy about them. And black jelly beans (ugh).
It has definitely gotten easier as time goes on.
Today the store was bustling with shoppers and the focus was “100% Mom”. Meijer had gorgeous bouquets everywhere and people were scooping them up. I perused the hanging baskets in the nursery area, while stepping over the hoses and around the puddles, not at all missing the effort that goes into planting and maintaining those blooms so they look good through the Fall. I used to spend a couple of hours daily deadheading, weeding and watering. Now, I’m a lazy gardener, dealing just with the perennials and roses in the backyard, and, I’m always behind in their TLC. Since I started walking, I use artificial flowers which I’ve “planted” into decorative pots, planters and a wheelbarrow, and have wreaths hung onto the fence and on shepherd’s hooks, so, I rarely, if ever, stray into the store’s nursery area anymore.
I love the radio ads for Bordine’s Nursery though. They’ve had the same English miss by the name of Fiona Brinks in the seasonal ads for many years. I noticed that in 2015, Fiona added a tagline touting Bordine’s flowers, calling them “bigger, better and bloomier”, plus she has been giving a lot of suggestions for flowers for “Mum”. Every time I’ve heard her say “Mum”, it evokes fond memories for me.
As most of you know, I am Canadian, having spent the first ten years of my life in Canada and I’ve yet to become an American citizen – one day though …. There are many idioms and expressions Canadians have adopted from the Brits, and, one of them is “Mum”. “Mummy” and “Mum” are the usual names for “Mom” or “Mother” in Canada.
I grew up calling my mom “Mummy” which kind of morphed into “Mum” as I got older. When I started working at the diner, everyone was from the deep South and they always called the matriarch of the family “Mama”. I tried “Mama” on for size and my mom rolled her eyes. Likewise, I tried calling her “Ma” … she said she wasn’t “Ma Kettle”, so that didn’t go over so well either. So “Mom” it was for many many years.
In 1979 I travelled with my parents to England for vacation – we stayed for a week at a small bed and breakfast in Surbiton, Surrey and travelled in a large black taxi into town or to meet tour groups for day excursions. The British woman who ran the place was very prim and proper and her daughter, equally prissy, called her “Mumsy” … she would stand at the bottom of the stairs and call up to her mother “Mumsy … oh Mumsy!”. My mom and I found it comical and stifled our laughter whenever we heard her say it, so long after our trip was over I’d call my mom “Mumsy” just for laughs every so often.
It doesn’t matter what Mom’s moniker was … or is, she is unique to you … the woman who gave you life and made you YOU.
Today is the day to honor her personally, or honor her memory.
I leave you with this quote: “I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” ~Mitch Albom
Happy Mother’s Day everyone.
[Image courtesy of FreeVintageillustrations.com]