Orchids and Stars for Mother’s Day

orchids on parade

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.

little star

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?

Sunday best

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.

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Filed under family & friends, life

14 Responses to Orchids and Stars for Mother’s Day

  1. L Harris

    Everyday I miss my mom – just some days more than others. Mother’s Day is particularly tough. But I look at the mother my sister has become, and the mother’s who share their children with me (like you) and I feel better. We can’t all be mom’s, be we will always be somebody’s child. Happy Mother’s Day Aimee.

  2. Cheryl

    My grandmother (a stylish southern transplant) always wore an orchid corsage on Mother’s Day, too. My sister and I gave her one every year. Thanks for reminding me of a tradition that seemed so silly to me at the time. But now, I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world. Happy Mother’s Day!

  3. Sandra

    I always loved your mom, Aimee. She was so sweet. You are a great mom, too. Happy Mother’s Day!

  4. Such a sweet posting that once again shows the powerful love between mother and daughter. I know exactly what you mean when you speak of each child being their only star. My Mother also had that talent among us. We all felt that we were the most important. Ironically, she was just good enough for that to be true for all of us. It sounds like your wonderful mother had similar traits.

    Bonus points for the “hand-me-down brown bucks” comment. I think every family has em’ somewhere.

    Happy Mother’s Day and make sure to take some time for yourself! God bless ya girl!

    • Thanks, Rodney. Our moms were blessings to us. And I do love those bucks. They are simply precious! I hope you have a good weekend and God bless you too!

  5. Krista

    Wiping away the tears as I type. I know you will look wonderful with your star on Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day to you, friend!

  6. Crying in the airport by myself loving this tribute to your mom and you as a mom, Aimee. Beautiful. We were always a corsage family when I was a kid. Only my grandpa bought for our mom and grandmas. Thanks for sharing such a special memory and amazing words. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Thank you, Katie. That is so sweet that your grandpa bought the corsages. Swoon.
      Sorry to make you cry in the airport. If anyone asks, just give them my blog address. Happy Mother’s Day to you too!

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