One year for my mom’s birthday (March 6), and with May Day and then Mother’s Day right around the corner, I bought her a flowering pink cherry blossom tree. At least that’s what the tag said. There was no evidence that this spindly, scrawny, skeleton of a few twigs was what it said it was or that it was even alive.
I decided it needed some help.
In addition to buying the-whatever-it-was, I purchased a magazine containing all manner of pictures of flowers, trees that bloom, anything with color from roses to rhododendrons.
Then I carefully cut out maybe thirty or more of the prettiest of the bunch and taped them here and there to the otherwise rather sad looking branches of the so-called flowering pink cherry blossom tree.
Remarkably improved, this creation of mine needed only minor adjustment which was easily accomplished by moving the taped-on poinsettias so the taped-on pansies weren’t hidden in all the wild explosion of color.
Proudly I presented IT to my mom.
Clearly, from her initial reaction, she was beyond pleased.
In fact she said so.
Releasing me from a big hug she said, “That’s beautiful! What is it?”
Whereupon I explained how this thing came about and she smiled and said, “How ‘bout we plant it and find out which of these flowers it really is?”
And so it has been down through the years that the flowers and fruits and vegetables and all things good and growing in my mother’s garden – including her kids and grandkids and on and on – are who they are because of who she was: a gardener and a nurturer of blessing and beauty.
Just like her.
Portrait of my mother at age 18.