Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Flowers

My dad always made sure that we always had our flowers. You see, back in the day, the flowers had a special significance.

My mother and I always wore a corsage to church on Mother's Day and daddy wore a boutonnière. Roses were nice, but carnations were a lot more practical. The flowers were color coded:

Red corsage if the recepients mother is alive.
White corsage if the recepients mother is deceased.
Yellow corsage if the recepient has a deceased child.

Mother's Day was always special to my mom. Her mother passed away when she was only six years old. I just can't imagine the grief of a six-year old child who has lost her mother. Six is just the age where a child would begin to understand death. She had two older sisters who did their best. Even as an adult, if she was sick or dreaming, she would call their names.

Then, their family received a blessing. My grandfather married a woman who had no children of her own. This woman married a man with four children who were still young. (The youngest was an infant when their mother died, and went to live with relatives. That is another amazing Mother's Day story!) Grandmomma Lou, as I called her, treated these children as if they were her own, and to my mother she was her "momma". As Grandmomma Lou's health failed to the point where my aunt could no longer manage her at home, she was placed in a skilled nursing facility near our home. My mother went to the nursing home every day. Yes, every day. My mother had to make sure that this remarkable woman knew that she was loved and appreciated.

My dad always made sure my mother had both a red flower and a white flower or a peppermint carnation with both the red and white colors. After Grandmomma Lou passed away, she had two white flowers. Every year, I remember this story. My single yellow rose pales in comparison.