Since you know I love you forever and always, on this Mother’s Day, I wanted to tell you about a few things I’ve learned from you. First, you taught me dependability, self-discipline, and routine. Growing up, I watched you day-after-day get up early, help Dad off to work, open up the beauty shop, and get the coffee brewing for your hairdressers and customers. Then you’d come home to feed us kids breakfast and make sure we got to school. Your work ethic and your commitment to our well-being was rock solid.
Second, you taught me how to serve and love people unconditionally. You trusted people, and they trusted you. In fact, I think your trust in people, even when they sometimes disappointed you, explains how you operated your beauty shop next to our house for over 50 years. As a business owner, you were solid as a rock.
Third, you taught me to love planting and caring for flowers. I remember the sweet peas that climbed up the chain link fence in our backyard. I remember the purple, white, and rose-colored columbine that you planted in soil inside an old black tire that Dad must have brought home for you. I remember the pink wild rose bush you saved from either Grandma May or Grandma Bush’s house. When it died out, the orange poppies beside it just naturally took over the space and now still blossom every summer. I remember the white and yellow flags you planted as bulbs and that grew up alongside the beauty shop before they got choked out by the grass you didn’t have time to pull.
I remember helping you plant snap dragons, petunias, pansies, and alyssum in the long flower bed that Uncle Dick welded for you to stand up off the ground at the front of the beauty shop. Those flowers and the American flag you hung out every morning were the perfect way to welcome your customers. I also remember the colorful hanging pots of flowers you bought pre-planted but had to water by hand, standing on a ladder, at least every other day. And I remember the 4 whiskey barrels full of flowers that bloomed each summer on the cement pad Dad made for us kids to play basketball on, but that eventually got used for many other things.
Ultimately, when I think of you, Mom, I think of flowers. I think of softness, kindness, and beauty. I think of your love for dad, who you lost too soon in life. And I think of your unconditional love for each of your 4 children. You and your love for us have always been as solid as a rock.