Geraniums make me smile ….

Mother’s Day came and went. And, I did step out of my comfort zone.  In the process, I think I may have stumbled across a tradition that I could embrace going forward.

My day started out with a call from my godson Michael and his sweet six-year old daughter, Kendra wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day.  I eased into my day and called my sisters wishing them a Happy Mother’s Day.

Several hours passed and still I had not decided what I would do with my day.  I finally called my aunt and wished her a Happy Mother’s Day.  Casually, I mentioned that I was thinking of going shopping at our local outdoor mall and asked her if she wanted to go with me.  We agreed to leave in an hour and I nonchalantly told her not to eat suggesting we could grab lunch while we were out.  I did not want to make a big deal out of this outing.  Normally, my aunt would be at my youngest sister’s house but she was on softball mom duty – one of my nieces was playing in a tournament all weekend.

My relationship with my aunt is complicated – she is my godmother and my mother’s baby sister but we are not what I would call close.  I’ve never shared with her any of my emotions about Mother’s Day and the anniversary of my mom’s death.  On the one hand, I’m sure she can relate as my grandmother died 11 years ago and made her a motherless daughter.  But on the other hand, my conversations with my aunt just aren’t of an emotional nature.  I would describe our relationship as one obligated by birth.  The reality of my asking her to spend a few hours on Mother’s Day afternoon with me had less to do with her and more to do with my mom.  Given the circumstances of my aunt’s failing health and the unavailability of her favorite niece, my mom would want me to step up and do something nice for her sister.

So off we went shopping, it wasn’t so bad.  There were no altercations with grown daughters being excessively rude to their mothers even in the department stores.   I bought my first Christmas present for one of my nieces and actually wrapped it.  It was a great deal that I won’t get in season closer to Christmas.  This purchase is very ironic because as I have mentioned I am a procrastinator and buying a Christmas gift this early is crazy early for even the most organized person.  I was always the daughter who came rushing into the house, bags of presents in tow, an hour maybe two before our family gathered for Christmas Eve looking for wrapping paper, tape and scissors.  My mom would get a good laugh out of this early purchase and that it is already wrapped.

We went to lunch not at one of the nicer restaurants but at my aunt’s choice of Friendly’s because the wait at the other restaurants was 25 – 30 minutes.  Although my palate wanted something more than a fast food restaurant, I must concede that Friendly’s was a great choice.  It was a perfectly safe restaurant for me to be at on Mother’s Day; there were no adult women with their mothers, the clientele was either families with young children or the very elderly.

geraniumsAfter lunch, I went to Home Depot while my aunt did her grocery shopping.  I bought some potting soil and geraniums to plant in pots and planters.  Also, earlier than I normally manage to complete, usually my best is the end of May/mid -June.  I love geraniums because my mother loved geraniums.  When I walk up my walkway and onto my front porch and see the geraniums lining the stairs and the windows, even after the most difficult day, they make me smile.  Geraniums remind me of my mom and make me think of happy memories and I can’t help but smile.

My trip to Home Depot revealed to me how I could spend Mother’s Days from now on: planting geraniums and smiling.  And I know as that Sunday begins to fade, I will still feel relief in knowing that another Mother’s Day is passing and Monday is about to come once again.

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