Chrysanthemum Blues

                I bought my Mama chrysanthemums in the fall.  She loved them and would always be so happy when I gave them to her.  That special delivery ended last fall.  My mother died the previous January.  I miss buying them for her.  Maybe that is why since the beginning of September this year I find myself in tears almost every day. 

                I deeply miss my Mama.  She was my listening ear, my sounding board, my confidant.  She was so easy to talk to.  She did not interrupt or constantly try to interject her advice.  She just listened intently and actively.  I could tell her anything.  She was not judgmental, and at the end of our talks I always felt.

                I do not remember my Mama being talkative when I was a little girl.  For a long time, I wondered if she could talk at all.  She was calm and quiet and always hospitable.  Everyone who came into her home was welcomed.  She never lied.  She never gossiped.  She had a way of telling you the truth that even if you did not like it you could not get angry at her for telling it. 

                As my Daddy continued to have major health issues, I observed as my mother grew more outspoken.  She took on the responsibility of running the house.  They still made decisions together like they always did, but she generally carried them out.  She made sure the bills were paid on time.  She went grocery shopping.  She made doctor’s appointments.  She conducted business.  She made things happen.

                After my Daddy died, I visited Mama every week.  I was on my own caregiving journey and she understood the challenges and frustration all too well.  We would laugh and talk and watch television.  There was usually a meal involved.  My husband often went with me.  She spoiled him the same way I accused her of spoiling my brothers, my son, and my grandson.

                We had no idea she would be gone so soon.  She slipped away quietly and peacefully, sitting in her rocking chair in her bedroom.  I do not know when she made the decision to transitions.  I am sure the pain of living without my Daddy was strong.  They had been married fifty-three years and loved each other tremendously. 

                I believe everything happening in the world; COVID-19, the racial and political unrest, my husband’s death, and the stress it all produces, has intensified my longing for my Mama’s presence. She would be the one I would call to talk out my feeling about the changes in the world and in my own life.  She was my listening ear, my sounding board, my confidant.  Is it too late in the season to buy a chrysanthemum?

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