After watching a few back-to-back episodes of Hoarders yesterday morning (yes, you may roll your eyes now), my Sunday chore list became exponentially longer. What started as a routine house cleaning day turned into a fridge and freezer purge, the breakdown of every cardboard box within my reach, two dump runs and a full afternoon in the kitchen making healthy lunches and soup for the week.
As I spent that time in my kitchen, my iPod playlist shuffled through every type of music you can imagine but the more I listened, the more the songs reminded me of my mom. I have been thinking about my mom a lot lately. She had a huge heart and she would continually think of little things to do for people just to see them smile. She would spend the weeks leading up to Christmas baking until she could bake no more. Her house always had the essence of fresh-baked cookies and squares and the Christmas tins would be piled high on her dining room table.
Her favorite day was not Christmas day but the day that she would drive, or later be driven, to all of the places where she would deliver her goodies. The local Hardware store, the post office and the local veterinarians would excitedly open the tins to see their favorite type of cookie and their reaction was the only present she ever truly wanted. My mom was the type of person who would learn those little things about you and she would make sure that those little things made their way from her home into your heart.
I was reminded of this wonderful quality when, during my furious Hoarder-inspired clean, I was rearranging some things in my kitchen. There in the midst of my jar of utensils was a lone yellow rose. I had long forgotten the bouquet of flowers my mother had given me so many years ago. She had stealthily used my key to leave the flowers on the island in my kitchen and attached to the fragrant arrangement was a simple card that read, “I will love you until the last flower dies”. I thought it was an odd message but after really looking the arrangement, I saw the flower in the middle of the bunch. It was a lovely yellow rose, but it was artificial. It would never die.
That was my mom. And those little nuances that made her who she was are the things I miss the most. Some days I’m fine, a phrase we are no longer allowed to use in my family, and some days, like yesterday, the emotion snuck up on me and I could not control the flow of tears.
But it is not just the rose that reminds me that she will always be with me. My mom is somehow still able to pull strings and make wonderful things happen in our lives that we never expected. And it is these things, the things that only my mom would know, that make the gestures so special and so meaningful.
To say I miss her is a gross understatement and I hope she knows that I will love her until that last flower dies.