This post is for Day 14 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.
My mom had a small deck just outside the back door of our home with enough room for a couple of chairs. She would often sit out there to read. It was her quiet place.
There was a railing that surrounded the deck and she had placed narrow flower boxes all along the top of the railing. She would fill them every spring with begonias and other flower treasures that she found at the nursery. She also had many hanging plants that hung above the deck. She was a really good gardener. She loved spending time on her deck. It was her flower place.
We would often find her watering the flowers or picking off a dried blossom or leaves. They were her treasures. She delighted in the beautiful colored blossoms. She watched them grow and tended them with care. It was her happy place.
One year during the early summer months she had some health issues and was admitted into the hospital. It turned out the summer was a series of time in and out of the hospital. She wasn't able to enjoy her beautiful flowers. It broke my heart when she talked about wanting to go home. I knew she wanted to just sit on her deck and enjoy her flowers.
I spent most days with her and I felt sad when she talked about her flowers. I promised her that I was caring for them and that they were beautiful. She ached to see them. I had to find a way to bring the flowers to her. So I took pictures of each beautiful blossom on each bright green plant. I had the pictures developed and put together a collage of her flowers in a clear acrylic frame. I brought them to the hospital and placed them on the window ledge next to her bed.
Those days were tough. She was in and out of dementia. But when she was alert she made sure that everyone who walked in her room (nurses, doctors, family and friends) saw her beautiful flowers. She was so proud of them.
Towards the end of the summer she was moved to hospice and within days she was gone. My heart ached. It was difficult to go through the motions of burying my sweet mother. But there was one thing we did for her that I think would make her smile. We took those pictures from the frame and slipped them under the blanket that covered her in the coffin. I know they are with her and that means everything. Wherever she is, I hope she is tending her flowers and enjoying the beautiful blossoms.
These days, I think she would be proud of my garden. I try to be the gardener she was. I cherish the colorful blooms that make me smile. It is my remembering place.