My Mother's Flowers

Flowers, lots of flowers. My childhood was filled with them. I can still smell the roses all over my house, in every single room and remember my mother waiting for them to bloom. Flowers are for every occasion, she used to say. As she put together flower arrangements for Valentine’s day. My sister and I were like her assistants. She taught us how to treat flowers, how to paint flowers and how to name flowers. She even taught us what every flower means. An iris represents inspiration and a poppy represents consolation. A Magnolia represents dignity and red and white roses together represent unity. Knowing all this, makes it impossible for my mother to see a flower as a simple flower. Sometimes she said that flowers were like a language, a way of expression. And the more time we spent around flowers I came to understand what she meant. There’s so much that can be said with a white rose, a red tulip or a black orchid. Every time you can’t find the right words to say to someone give them flowers, she always said. Every week we went to huge flower storages. There were roses, lilies, tulips and some others with such exotic names that my sister and I turned the naming of flowers into a game. I always described those storages as beautiful, fresh and colorful places, but without the flowers those storages where nothing but big, grey and very cold places. When she needed help, my mother used to take us to church to help her arrange the whole place with flowers hours before a wedding started or for a memorial for someone who recently parted. Now I understand that every flower has a meaning and that every single type of flower comes with a feeling. As flowers can make you feel happiness when you receive them from someone who you love, they can also make you feel sadness and grief as you deliver them to someone who soon leaves. Flowers made my mother very happy for a long time and always made my house look nice. Then the sad day came along, when she had to close her flower shop. Even though they are not useful anymore we still have piles of flower books laying on the floor. And when someone brings flowers to my house my mother always enjoys naming them all, especially the ones with exotic names.

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