Mother’s Day is fast approaching, the first Mother’s Day since my mother’s passing. I am trying to get all of the dread out of they way so that day doesn’t feel so bad when it gets here. I bought fake flowers and made an arrangement for her grave. I did that last week. So that’s done.
The cemetery where my mom is buried is a sea of fake flowers. Every grave has an arrangement in varying degrees of sun-faded hues. I think it is supposed to be comforting and beautiful that every soul is recognized, but somehow it makes me feel even more sad. It is a facade. You can leave those fake flowers for months without changing them if you wanted to, no one would know the difference. Then you could walk away and forget them for a while. As if.
I am the worst kind of daughter. I brought the small flower container home from her gravesite months ago. I had every intention of making an arrangement for her, but time got away from me as it always seems to do. I needed to put one of those green styrofoam things in the bottom so that I could stuff the wiry ends of the flowers into it. That way the flowers will remain affixed for months, looking fresh and arranged, carefully and lovingly by a doting daughter. Her grave sat flowerless in a sea of flowers for months as if saying this person, this life, really didn’t matter much. No one cared enough to remember her with fake flowers.
Knowing full well that I had failed as the doting, loving daughter, I overcompensated by not only making an arrangement, but also making a wreath, with ribbons and a little flower pendant. That should show everyone just how special she was and make them forget that her grave stood empty for the past 6 months. I knew that I had to get this done by Mother’s Day. I couldn’t bear for her grave to be bare on such a sacred day! Even I’m not the kind of awful daughter that would let her mother’s grave be flowerless on Mother’s Day! I am not an evil monster!
When I placed my arrangement on her grave, I noticed that someone had placed flowers in the holder that was affixed to her headstone. It was probably the groundskeeper. It basically consisted of a bunch of fake flowers with most of the flowers missing, just wiry, rusty stems and sun-damaged leaves. I wish they hadn’t even made the attempt. It was truly done by someone who didn’t care for her and it showed. Amongst all the arrangements, this was the worst. I pulled it out and threw it on the ground, I didn’t even bother to put it in the garbage can. It made me feel guilty that a stranger had made an attempt at least.
I just want to get that day over with. The first Mother’s Day without her. More than anything, I don’t want to be inundated with all of the great mother-daughter relationships in the world on that day. I lost my mom and I lost any opportunity to repair or enhance that relationship. That day is just a reminder that whatever was will always be; unchanged, unsaid, unrealized, frozen, arranged, rusty, wiry, and faded.