For the last few days I’ve thought of ways to honor Mama on the first birthday after her death. I thought about the usual things that people do. You know, like post missives on her Facebook page talking about how much I miss her. Or posting e-cards with terrible, sappy poems. None of these things felt right to me.
When Mama was alive I always made a point of doing something personal on her birthday. On good years it might be a computer or a karaoke machine. It might be just a card if money was running short, but if it was, it was the right card, and it was always accompanied by something that I’d written personally so she’d know it wasn’t just an afterthought. In years when the money was really short, sometimes I didn’t even have the money for the a card, so I’d write something to Mama that was from my heart. After she died and I had to go through her possessions, I realized that those had meant the most to her of all of them.
I didn’t care for a lot of public demonstrations of my affection for Mama. Anybody who knows me, or knew her, knows how much I loved her, and she me. There’s no need for gaudy public displays. But I wanted to do something special for her. Honestly, the options are dwindling. What could I do that would properly honor Mama, without becoming one of those self-indulgent celebrations of one’s own grief?
The answer was simple. And understated. I made a gallery here on the web site, and on Mama’s Facebook page, housing some of the photos I still have of her flowers. If you knew Peggy Chaney at all, you no doubt knew that flowers were as much a part of her being as breathing. Up until now there haven’t been any photos of her flowers on the web site. That had to change.
This is nothing major. I don’t expect you to pat me on the back for putting up photos of Mama’s flowers. But those flowers were a part of who she was. It’s important to me for this web site to make it possible for folks who didn’t know Mama to feel like they do. Her flowers are a large part of that. Not only did she spread smiles and love wherever she went, flowers seemed to follow her. Indeed, when she died there were four small pots in her bedroom where she was rooting new plants. And on her grave the Lord has seen fit to let clover with beautiful little white buds bloom. I said just today that I wouldn’t be surprised if that whole end the cemetery came alive with flowers.
Anyway, here are some pictures of Mama’s flowers. I’ll add more as I find them. This is just some small way for me to honor one facet of who Mama was.
Happy birthday, Mama. I miss you so much. You are missed terribly, but I still feel your presence and your love in my heart. I am proud, as ever, to be…
Your loving son,