Saturday, May 8, 2010

Flowers for Church

Mother's Day is coming up. In case you have not taken care of those last minute cards and gifts, consider this your two minute warning. But what brought it to mind was a red rose bush I saw this afternoon.

When I was little, we got flowers for everything. And, you wore flowers on special Sundays. Easter was a biggie. Daddy always had the florist send corsages to the house on the Saturday before Easter for me and my Mama to wear with our Easter finery Sunday morning at church. Daddy always made sure my flowers matched my dress, but Mama's was always an orchid. If Aunt Kat and Granny were in town spending Easter with us, they too, had orchids delivered for them to wear. And, we're not talking about Cymbidium orchids, Daddy made sure they sent Cattleyas.

So off to church every Easter, I'd go in my new dress, new shoes, matching purse, white gloves, and corsage. (I bailed on the hats at age 4.) And, I wasn't alone. All my friends would be sporting their new attire, just in an array of different colors. Of course, some of them still wore hats - Bless their hearts. Some mothers are so cruel.

Mother's day and Father's day were a little different. (This is where the roses come in.) On Mother's day, Daddy always had small red roses cut out of the yard for me and my mother, and red rose buds for my brother and him to wear to church. The red symbolized that our mothers were still "in life." On Father's day, he would have red roses for Mama, my brother, and me, but he would have a white rose bud, symbolizing that his father had"passed on."

On those days, I would sit in church and look around. With one sweep though the pews, I could take stock of generations, seeing whose parents were still living and whose were not. Even as a child, I realized it was done in honor and respect, but I found it eerie. To me it was like a census of the living and the dead, besides I always wanted to wear a pink rose - and that clearly didn't fit the program.

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