21 Mar 2018

Mother's Day

My therapist’s office is a ten-minute walk from my apartment.

My eyes always wet, and red rimmed on the walk back home.

“I want to give her everything my mother didn’t give me; love, appreciation, emotional security, for her to know in her heart of hearts that she is wanted and loved, to feel in her bones that I’m proud of her, the thick robust belief, that she makes my life worth living, like an ever-growing, far-reaching root of a giant healthy oak tree, stubborn and steadfast, never wavering, never drifting like a waterlily forever searching for something to belong to.” I say, trembling, while my therapist nods, giving me her slow, heavy blink of understanding. My heart throbbing with an ancient ache.

I go to the florist, another ten-minute walk in the opposite direction. The prices of roses doubled due to Mother’s Day, the red roses, tripled, due to high demand! The shop packed with carefully arranged baskets and vases, where roses, lilies, and tulips were made to sit still, or stand stiff, surrounded by foliage alien to them, like children on school picture day, made to smile that awkward, forced smile. I ask the florist for a bunch that hasn’t been manhandled yet. “Wouldn’t you like one of these?” she gestured to all the showy, unnatural, foam-based designs, sounding mildly wounded that none of them impressed me. These ones, I explained to the handsome mature lady, have their stems shortened, some of their leaves, and darkened aging petals removed, and most disturbingly, their thorns shaved off. So, they’re not really roses, not in the correct sense of what roses are, but what a stupid society wants them to be. I like them spiky, long stemmed, with all their blackening, aging, wrinkly petals still attached to them. I want them raw, honest, and painful to the touch.

After the photo was taken, I realized how we’ve gravely misunderstood flowers. Gifting them to say “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, “Congratulation”, “Thank you”, “Goodbye”. When all the while, all the damn while, flowers have been telling us a simple truth; here's a brief moment of beauty cherish it.