Thinking of my mother while I am writing this mid-quarantine, and all the emotions of yesteryear come flooding in my mind. Memories of my mother make me smile and make me miss her more.
I can’t wait to give her and my father big hugs as soon as it is safe. For now, we talk.
And I remember.
My mom always worked outside our home. She also prepared a homemade meal for us at dinnertime. She sewed and made my clothes, and she gardened.
I don’t know how she did it all? And so well. Where did she get the energy?
One answer–she had my father. He also worked outside of our home and worked at home as hard as she did. He helped her clean and take care of us, four children. We were loved and taken care of, and while we never had the best of anything, we had what we needed.
I think we all need to get back to this mentality. Including me.
I don’t share sewing, knitting, or crocheting with my mother, and I don’t remember ever sitting in the yard and pulling weeds, but I cook, and I love plants as she does.
I remember going to nurseries and buying plants with my mom. I remember the way all the plants looked and smelled. And while I didn’t particularly love it then, (it meant hard work was in my future), I do love it now.
Every spring, I head to our local nurseries and buy plants and flowers and dirt. I am a happy girl among the greenery. I love buying flowers for potting and adding more to my front flowerbeds. It truly brings me joy.
I take pictures, and I smile. I imagine where the new plants will look the prettiest, and I can’t wait to get home and get started. And then I take pictures when it’s all planted.
Here’s the funny thing—I can’t stand to get my hands dirty. I always wash my hands–way before the COVID-19 scare.
When I am working with dirt, I have a hose nearby, and I wash my hands frequently. Water is all I need, and I am back to work planting.
A few years ago, I discovered my mother has this same fascination with clean hands. I was shocked. I thought back to her gardening, pulling weeds, or kneading dough for homemade biscuits. I never knew she had an aversion for dirty hands as I do. Never in a million years would I imagine.
The reason–because my mother doesn’t complain. She doesn’t fuss; she does what is needed to get the job done. She did what she had to do. Simple.
I have learned a lot from my parents, and every so often, I realize I am who I am because of them. I am not as selfless or driven to do things myself as they are, but what work ethic I do have, I have because of them.
They taught me by doing. I witnessed them working hard my entire life. My father retired for the third time at age 80.
Mom and I were talking last week about a rejection I received from a publisher. I told her of my disappointment. While she was sympathetic and supportive, she went right to telling me I need to keep going. Keep trying to fulfill my dream.
“You can’t quit. You weren’t raised like that.”
I am thankful and blessed to have my parents today, even if I can’t see them right now. I have their love and support. I have the knowledge that they are proud of me.
I have all they taught me, and it is useful knowledge.
Yes, my love of plants comes from my mother, and she got hers from her mother. My grandmother could grow anything.
Good genes are like strong roots, aren’t they?
I am pleased to know my three children inherited my love of plants, too. I hope I have taught them other valuable life lessons and love.
We have good, strong roots.