Today is my mother's birthday. She would have been 87 years old. She ended her difficult journey through dementia more than two years ago. On the day she died I told her that I would always plant flowers for her on her birthday, just like I always used to do. She would watch me planting outside her window, tap on the glass and wave, and I'll always remember the happy smile on her face. I felt it again today. I have a garden in front of my studio window which is dedicated to her. Last year I planted a tea - Princess Grace de Monaco, but it did not make it through the winter. This year I got a beautiful rose - Nancy Reagan. I had to think long and hard before puchasing it (because of her political affiliation) but the color finally won me over. I told the nurseryman I was buying it even though she was a Republican and he got a good laugh. Mom loved Nancy, so this rose will be perfect for her.
The first year after her death I wanted to do some kind of a remembrance garden where other seniors could appreciate it. I remember how she loved to have me wheel her into the garden at the nursing home so she could see the flowers. She would touch and feel each one. I chose a nursing home where my grandmother had once been. They informed me that their large courtyard was already taken care of by a club, but there was a smaller one available. Perfect, I thought. My husband helped me and we planted several flats of beautiful flowers around three raised beds. During the process I found out that it was the smoking area for employees. There went my vision of sweet little ladies in wheelchairs, oohing and aahing over the beautiful colors, just as my Mom used to do. So.... I figured, working in a nursing home is such stressful work that perhaps I can lift a heart or two and help make facing the rest of the day a little easier for some employees. I know how hard they work. Whether I actually did or not I don't know. But my Mom knows, and I know, and that is what's important.
My thoughts today are with Mom, and with all of the families of our servicemen now serving, and those who have given their lives for freedom. You EACH deserve a memory garden.