I Remember…

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”

― L.M. Montgomery

When my parents were living independently, I started an annual tradition with mom on Mother’s Day.

I would go to a local greenhouse and buy a large, beautiful potted geranium in the brightest color possible for the woman who gave me life. Fuchsia was a favorite color, but red came in second.

The geranium always thrived through the summer and in September or October, dad would take the potted plant to Franciscan Court, a retirement community for Catholic nuns. One of the sisters there had a green thumb and continued to take care of it through the winter months and for the rest of its life.

Once mom and dad moved into assisted living, the tradition ended and that made me a little sad. My brother and I would give them a potted plant or a bouquet of flowers for special occasions, but they didn’t have room for too many extras and I missed the annual geranium selection and purchase.

The spring brought back these memories when two of my neighbors decided on geraniums as part of their patio garden. They get more sun than I, and don’t have to worry about the presence of a cat (geraniums are toxic to the feline species). Gibbs will admire the flowers from afar and I can pretend to have a piece of my mother close by.

I miss both of my parents, but can always sit in and enjoy the memories that are never forgotten. Dad was an excellent gardener and mom enjoyed the fruits, vegetables and flowers of his labor, but there was always room for a big blooming geranium from their daughter on Mother’s Day.

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27 responses to I Remember…

  1. Dan Antion says:

    That was a lovely tradition and left you with a wonderful memory. I didn’t know geraniums were toxic to cats – yikes.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I found out that geraniums were poisonous to cats one year after I bought one for the patio. It became a “hanging out of reach” plant for the rest of the season. Yes, yikes!

  2. quiall says:

    What a wonderful tradition. Our memories are like lifeboats in time, connecting us to our past.

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    It’s funny that it’s the small, seemingly insignificant, things we tend to remember … like red geraniums on Mother’s Day. I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself thinking of you the next time I see red (or fuchsia) geraniums 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I don’t remember many details about Mother’s Day with mom, but geraniums are forever imprinted in my mind. Just like I think of Dan when I cross railroad tracks or you when I bike a gorgeous trail.

  4. lois says:

    That is such a wonderful memory. Isn’t it weird how certain things bring back a thought from long ago? Oh, I would love to have plants in my house, but so many are poisonous to cats–it’s scary!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I know, Lois, I make sure I check now before buying something new for the patio. A good friend of mine gave me a pretty house plant when I retired. It ended up living with an elderly neighbor because it’s not good for Gibbs. The neighbor did repot it, so I have some lasting memories of the gift in a clay pot.

  5. murisopsis says:

    Wonderful memories! I’m trying to store up as many good memories as I can with my mother… Her flower of choice is petunias. Every time I see some with the shriveled blooms I think of my mother dead heading her flowers!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Creating and storing up memories of moms and family members is the best way to keep someone in your heart when they are gone. I hope you are able to share petunias with your mom for years to come.

  6. Ally Bean says:

    Sweet post. I love geraniums, they’ll bring a smile to your face and please anyone who sees them. Small remembrances mean a lot.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Ally. I do like the cranesbill perennial geranium, but without a yard, I would have no place for it.

  7. rugby843 says:

    My mom also loved red geraniums and I had them around our front door in Houston.  They would be okay to move inside and last.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m not sure if any of the geraniums that went to the nun’s home made it indoors to the next year, but I’m sure their life was longer than our typical growing season.

  8. Nice memory, warms the heart. My father-in-law built a shelf on their wooden garage door, and my mother-in-law would put her geraniums there. Sure they had to take them down sometimes, but they loved living right in front of that garage door window.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It seems that geraniums are a flower to remember and to create memories with. I’m glad you had that special memory, Judy.

  9. marianallen says:

    How lovely! I used to give my mother bright annuals for Mother’s Day. Then Charlie would plant them in her porch planters. Then the raccoons would dig them up. Rinse and repeat. And Mom and I would go out to a restaurant, each order the same thing, and pay for each other’s meal. 😀 Thanks for bringing back those memories. ❤

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You’re welcome, Marian. I also bought annuals for the former MIL because she couldn’t physically garden. I had troubles with deer eating things for awhile, but I eventually won that war.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        A quart spray bottle filled with one beaten egg, 2 TBL of chinese garlic oil and the rest water. Spray on the plants and store unused spray in the fridge. It smells awful, but it works for deer and bunnies.

      • marianallen says:

        Don’t have Chinese garlic oil, but I know how to infuse olive oil with garlic. Wonder if that would work?

      • marianallen says:

        I never knew deer and bunnies were vampires. Although I did read a book called BUNNICULA back in the day.

  10. JoAnna says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory and the comforting quote that goes a long way.

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