Flowers for Mother


Thursday after school I visit my mother. I used to buy flowers to take to her. Some weeks I would forget, so I would pick a few flowers from a garden near my house. I didn’t think the owner would notice because I only picked the flowers that hung outside the small fence. I was wrong.

One Thursday, I hurried to go visit my mother before the sun went down. The school had kept me a little late for talking back to my history teacher. He didn’t like me correcting him. I had forgotten to buy flowers before school, so I decided to pick a few from the garden down the street.

Stopping in front of the fence, I reached out and picked a white rose and a few forget-me-nots. Just as I finished, the nearby gate opened and a lady walked out. She stood straight in jeans and a red shirt, with dark hair pulled in a ponytail.

“So you’re the thief,” she stated.

I gaped at her unsure how to reply. Lucky for me she kept talking.

“My flowers are special, young man, who do you take them to? Is she pretty enough for my flowers?” she asked. Still unable to talk I just stared.

Sighing she said, “Fine, go along and I’ll come with to decide for myself.”

She spoke so commandingly, my feet automatically obeyed and I began walking. They had taken this path so many times I did not even need to think about where I was going.

Silently we walked along. She didn’t say anything, though I noticed her raised eyebrows as we turned into my mother’s place. I kept walking until I came to the right spot. The lady stood next to me as I laid the flowers next to the gray gravestone.

Quietly, the lady asked, “Who is this?”

I found my voice, replying, “My mother.”

Then feeling more explanation needed I continued, “My father is paraplegic. It happened in the same car accident that killed her. They were on the way home from a mini honeymoon. Dad asked me if I would visit her grave each week since he could not.”

Taking a breath I continued, “Thursday is the only night I can come before closing and I work weekends. I like to bring her flowers.”

The lady laid her hand on my shoulder halting my words. “Young man, I am pleased you felt my flowers special enough for your mother. You are always welcome to use my flowers. I would be pleased for them to go to her.”

I nodded. Together we stood there as the sun slowly lowered. Then I walked her home, on my home. Now, most Thursdays, she has picked the best flowers ready for me to take, and on the way home I stop by her home for cookies and milk.

Today I plan to ask her about the picture I saw of my mom in her hallway.

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