Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Mother's Soul

As a girl, I was full of questions. My mother received the brunt of these, and she usually answered with patience. My inquiries ranged from "why is the sky blue" to "what happens when we die?"

Our conversations throughout 37 years together often sounded like Philosophy 101. I never ceased to question, and she did her best to fulfill my curiousity. "Because" was not an answer I ever accepted.

We debated alien beings, the meaning of God, the legend of Big Foot, and the Loch Ness Monster. We talked of faith and logic, emotion and intelligence.

We rarely reached conclusions, for these are unanswerable questions, after all.

In 2000, as my mother rested in a hospital bed, her body giving way to the cancer that was eating her up from the inside, she drew me to her.

"I want you to know that life goes on," she said. "What can I do to show you that? I will answer your questions. How can I do that?"

I thought about this. If there was sentient, conscious life beyond the grave, how then would I know for sure I was receiving a message from my mother?

Finally, I gave her an answer. "Send me something orange," I said. I didn't want to make it a difficult task. But there was nothing orange in my house, no orange furniture, no orange quilts, blankets or towels. Orange was not my favorite color, so anything entering my house that was orange was sure to get my attention.

She nodded when I explained my reasoning for this request. I can still see her leaning back against the pillows, her mouth moving as she whispered to herself, "something orange."

My mother passed away in August of that year. Months passed. Soon it was June, with spring giving way quickly to summer. My birthday came and a dear friend showed up at my doorstep with a present.

She brought me a rose bush. I was surprised because June is a little late to be planting roses and my friend is not a gardener. "I found this one plant and thought of you," she said. Something told her she simply had to buy it for me.

And every year, when the thing blooms, I have the most exquisite orange roses you ever saw. What can I do but look up, and think of Mom?


  1. What a beautiful reminder of your Mom! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for that beautiful post..... so touching!
    I miss my Mom!

  3. A lovely remembrance every time you look at the rose in bloom.

  4. My sister was someone who had a hard time expressing her love for others. It's just who she was. But what a wonderful way for her to remind you that she loved you very much. I miss her every day. Thank you, dear niece, for sharing.


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