The Vase of Flowers

Flowers were important to my mom, as well as to my grandmother. They became especially important after my grandfather passed away and my mom became single again. I was “the man” in both of their lives. Each Valentine’s Day and birthday, I would send flowers.


So regular was I that the local flower shop in Fort Worth, Texas would call me to remind me that I needed to order flowers, and they wanted to know my message on the card.


Flowers for my grandmother were a colorful bouquet – usually something that would last for a while. Mom’s on the other hand, were always red roses (I tried white one time – and was reminded of her preference).


As important was the card. I would spend a significant time coming up with the just the right words for that card.


The day of delivery of the flowers I would get a call, usually from my mom. The last delivery to my mom was on her birthday, which happened to be on Valentine's Day. That was in 2001. Two days later she passed away unexpectedly.


This Mother’s Day reminds me of my mom. She was clearly my biggest fan. Very few days would pass without us talking (in fact, during the OJ Simpson trial, we talked at least once, if not twice, a day). She always wanted to know about my three sons and their activities; my wife and what she was cooking and how she was doing; and of course, she always asked about my health.


My mom and I had a very healthy relationship. I truly appreciate that. I was always excited to see her and share my family with her. She would fuss over them, maybe too much for their liking, but they always knew she loved them.


As I was writing this article, I recalled my sister had found a stack of letters and cards in my mom’s possession, all from me and my wife. They included the notes attached to the years of flowers.


I realized it was not just about the flowers; it was as much about the note that I was sending to her with them.


On the day she passed away in 2001, I drove to Fort Worth. I went into her apartment and there sitting on the counter in full view were the dozen roses along with the card that I had sent her that year.