On Mother’s Day when I was a teenager, my mom insisted the whole family wear corsages. My dad, brother, sister, and I went to church looking like we were going to the prom.
I have no idea why she wanted this. Yes, there is a Mother’s Day tradition to wear a red carnation if your mother is alive and a white carnation if she has died.
But my mom was very much alive when she issued her decree. My grandmothers were both alive in those years too. There were no white carnations within 10 miles of our house.
No red carnations for us either. My mom was a mild nonconformist. She bought us flowers to match our outfits. Usually orchids.
It was the 80s, so we had lovely shades of ivory, mauve and violet orchids. Like I said, we might as well have been going to the prom. A Taiwanese garden prom.
I vaguely remember a wrist coursage one year when there was nowhere to pin a flower on my sundress. Still trying to repress that.
Why not Easter corsages? Why not Christmas? Why not carnations or roses or freesia, for goodness sake? Why, oh, why orchids?
I can only guess what was going through her mind. Maybe to her orchids were an expensive luxury reserved for the royal family. And there was no better occasion to display us than Mother’s Day.
She was beyond my best friend. After she died, I discovered she was my brother’s and sister’s best friend as well. She made each of us feel like we were the single star in her sky. Three stars circling one sun. She loved us each best.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking she can’t be gone. Thinking I’ll just pick up the phone and call her.
So what will I wear this year on Mother’s Day? A blinding white orchid on my head? A flashback wrist corsage?
I’ll wear a sweet little size six seersucker suit with hand-me-down brown bucks.
I’ll don a wide grin of baby teeth that are still hanging on, but will be long gone by this time next year.
And I’ll pin on a bright yellow star he made for me last Mother’s Day in Sunday School.
No orchids for me. One single star in my sky fits just fine.
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3 NLT
Grab the tissues. A New Day Has Come. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.