This week ends with Mother’s Day, so I think it’s an appropriate time to dedicate this week’s posts to stories about Moms.
My parents divorced when I was very little and my Dad remarried shortly after that, giving me two Moms for most of my life. As was customary in those days, my sister and I lived with Mom and we visited with Dad and my Stepmom (and grandparents) every other weekend.
Both Moms were career women, strong of will and work ethic, so there was no confusion in lessons learned growing up. My stepmom, of European upbringing, demonstrated a more controlled, proper attitude that gave me insight and example in keeping my emotions in check and making decisions with my head. My Mom was fierier and wonderfully creative, helping me grow in mind and imagination.
It’s been nearly a decade since Mom died from cancer. I’ve mentioned her numerous times during my various posts on the blog and I plan on spending more “ink” on her this week as I recount some of my fondest memories.
Regular readers already know Mom was a florist for most of her life, owning her flower shops for the bulk of that time. When it comes to flowers, there are two holidays that always stand out: Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. All other holidays added together wouldn’t equal those two for importance. Having spent many a holiday weekend helping Mom out in the store, it was great to get to talk to customers about their Moms. Even though she would frown when I’d talk about her to the customers, I’d like to think that she was pleased with the pride and love I showed when speaking.
Those were fun times, some of my best, watching Mom at her craft and in her element and seeing the anticipation in the eyes of the customers as they picked up their flowers or caught a glance of her arranging in the back room.
Whenever a young person came in (which, I guess, would mean about my age in those days), Mom would stop and come out to help personally, alongside me. I always felt a sense of dignity that Mom never “replaced” me with a customer, merely supported me. Still, I think she felt the kids could use a Mom’s presence when they were trying to figure out what to get their own Mom with their allowance money. Of course, in those cases, Mom always gave them way more than their money could buy. That’s how she ran her stores, with her heart, not her head. I’d like to think I took that special lesson with me all my days as I try to emulate her generosity as much as I can to those around me.
If, over the next few days, a typo or two should slip past, be assured it’s due to somewhat blurry vision as I recall and miss Mom. It’s also why I have always felt so strongly about these holidays, which some cynics like to think of as cheap marketing ploys.
I spent many Mother’s Day with my Mom, watching her help others express the love and joy they had for their own Moms. I no longer have that treasured opportunity and I plan on using this entire week to express that joy in remembrance and laughter and sentiment that only exists between a Mom and her child.
Forget cynicism. Forget arguments or disagreements. Remember the special times with your Mom and that part of her that became part of you. Remember your Mom this week. Even more, if she is still around to enjoy it with you.