Tag Archives: mother’s love

My Perfect Roses

Last Sunday, my thoughts were just as drab and boring as the world I had been walking through.  I felt trapped as I made my way down the main aisle of the backroom of my workplace.  I was surrounded on all sides by dull, concrete floors, light gray steel beams, and plain brown cardboard boxes.  But then just like in the Wizard of Oz when black and white scenes suddenly blossom into brilliant color, I noticed something crimson red shining just to my left side.  I turned around and gasped as I caught my breath.

“Oh, those are beautiful!”  I sighed as I came to a complete dreamlike stop.  I suddenly forgot why I had been in such a hurry as I focused on the long stem roses that were lying in a blue basket.  The black handle of the square basket was resting across Bernard’s left arm.

“Do you want a rose?” the assistant manager asked me.

“Really,” I smiled.  “I can have one?”

“Of course, you can,” he answered as he offered the basket out to me.  I thanked him profusely and grabbed the stem of a large blooming red rose.  I pulled the luscious flower from the basket and held it up to my face to breath in the delicious scent of the petals.  “Okay,” Bernard said after I had been completely intoxicated with the sweet aroma.  “You have to let me take your picture now.”

That’s when I noticed that Bernard was holding a digital camera in his opposite hand.  I’ve always been very uncomfortable in front of cameras.  So, now, I shook my head.  “No, thanks,” I told him.  “I’ll have to give you the rose back.”  I started to place the beautiful, perfect creation back into the basket.  Refusing the picture was actually a graceful way out for me because I had suddenly realized that the roses actually had a special purpose.  The flowers were for Mommas.  I had completely forgotten through the course of my busy workday that it was Mother’s Day.  I don’t have children of my own and my mother had passed on seven years ago.  So, of course, I don’t really have a reason or a right to celebrate Mother’s Day and, honestly, it is a holiday that makes me really sad.  I sighed wistfully as I placed the rose back into the basket.

“No, it’s okay,” Bernard told me.  “You can have a rose.  Go ahead and keep it…and I won’t force you to have your picture taken either.”

I just shook my head no and slowly began to back away.  I didn’t deserve the flower.  “Thank you, Bernard,” I told him.  “I do appreciate it but I’m not a mother.  I don’t have any children.  These roses should go to mothers today.

Bernard just laughed then and said, “It doesn’t matter.  You can have a rose, too, if it makes you happy.  Come on.  Take one.”  He held the basket out to me again.

I couldn’t stop smiling now as I grabbed hold of the stem of the flower I had just returned and pulled it back out of the basket.  “Thank you,” I told him.

“That’s fine,” Bernard answered.  “Just enjoy it.

And I did.  Holding the rose and running my fingers over the red, feather soft petals made my day a little brighter.  I was really missing my mother and the rose made me think of her.  I thought about the rose bush my mother had planted and carefully nurtured in the corner of our backyard when I was a child.  But then, thinking about my mother who had sacrificed so much for me, I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty.  I wondered if I had taken a rose away from a woman who was much more deserving than I could ever be.  Did I just steal a rose from one of the many gracious women who went through the pain of childbirth and suffered sleepless nights taking care of sick children?

Honestly, I would have loved to have been one of those women.  But certain life situations and health problems such as ovarian cysts and uterine tumors prevented me from feeling worthy of a rose.  But I also had to admit that the flower and Bernard’s kindness, the way he included me in this simple tribute, made me smile and brightened my day.

A week later, Sunday, May 20, 2017, I was back at work and having a rather bad day.  I kept repeating to myself New Age affirmations to help me make it through my work hours.  “A good or bad day is just my perception.”  “I can use my power of positive thinking to make this a better day.”  But nothing seemed to help.  I spent the day struggling with even the most minor tasks.  I just couldn’t seem to adjust to the stress of the day and my frustration was pushing me to the point of tears.

As I struggled to pull myself together that afternoon, I suddenly heard someone calling out to me.  I turned around to see  Charles standing behind me.  “Here, this is for you, Jamie,” he said as he held out his hand to me.  “Take this and hold onto it until your day becomes better.”  I stared down at the small, red rose resting in his palm, and my heart suddenly filled with hope and gratitude.  I was so touched by Charles’s sweet gesture.  “Thank you so much,” I answered.  “That’s so sweet of you.”   I reached out and took the rose from his hand.  As Charles walked away , I pinned the rose to my shirt and immediately began to feel much better.  What an amazing blessing that gift was!  And now, after all of the positive thinking I tried to force on myself, that simple rose made me feel so much better.

I thought now about both roses I had received over the last two Sundays and I realized something.  Though I regret not being a mother, though I am ashamed of myself for not handling my frustration better, people still cared about me.  I don’t have to be anything in particular or do anything special for people to think of me.  I had no reason to feel inadequate or ashamed or lacking in my life.  I don’t have to have a great job or a lot of money.  Instead, all I had to do was be kind and have a good heart and there will always be people to support and help me.

My coworker’s kindnesses reminded me of the love Jesus Christ holds for all of us.  He knows our regrets and our failings and yet He continues to love and support us anyway.  He continues to help us grow strong and beautiful and blossom into special spirits….just like my beautiful perfect roses.  I am so blessed!

Thank you so much, Bernard and Charles, for your kindness…and my roses!













A Mother’s Love

Whenever I travel, I usually enjoy driving.  I love the experience of being on long cross-country road trips with nothing more than the car stereo and my own thoughts keeping me company.  I love the peace of driving down long lonely highways and watching the sunrise through my front windshield.  However, I was looking forward to letting someone else worry about the transportation on a recent plane flight from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Dallas, Texas.  I was looking forward to relaxing back in my seat, reading, writing, daydreaming, maybe sleeping a little bit, for the three hours of the flight.

I had to take a few deep breaths, though, as I settled down into my seat and buckled up.  I had to remember that other people might not be as anxious or excited as I was.  I tried not to sigh heavily as I watched the other passengers struggle to place their large bags in the limited overhead bin space and argue over who was going to get the window seat.  I just wanted to be up in the air now.  It would be a while, though, before all of the passengers were finally in their seats and ready for take-off.

Across the aisle from me, a family was settling into the row of three seats.  The grandmother sat on the aisle; the mother sat by the window.  In between them was a small 5-year-old boy.  As soon as the child was placed in his seat, he became fascinated with the fold out tray on the back of the seat in front of him.  He reached up to turn the small knob to release the tray and bring it down in front of him.  His mother and grandmother tried to tell the boy that he could not put the tray down until the plane was in the air.  This pronouncement produced a sudden meltdown in the young boy.  Suddenly, he began to cry.  His loud, high-pitched screams began to echo throughout the entire cabin.  His small feet began to kick at the tray and his hands formed into very small, yet still threatening, fists.  The young boy kicked, screamed, yelled, cried, and beat on the seat in front of him as his mother and grandmother tried to calm him down.  “Stop now!” his mother was harshly whispering to him as grandma was trying to distract him with an array of stuffed animals.  Neither method seemed to work.  The boy suddenly was completely out of control.

I tried desperately to concentrate on my book and not watch the drama taking place just two feet away from me.  It was hard trying to pretend that nothing was wrong as the boy had a complete break.  Over the pages of my book, I quickly threw a glance over at the family…and suddenly felt the breath knocked out of me.  The young boy was in such a screaming, crying, pounding, kicking tantrum, his mother was now physically restraining him.  As she continued to whisper to him to “stop” and “calm down,” her whole body was wrapped around him, holding down his hands and his legs to stop him from hitting and kicking.  I quickly looked away again, but still felt myself shaken by the sight I had just witnessed.  I know I shouldn’t judge, especially since I don’t have children, but I don’t recall ever seeing a child restrained like that in public before.  I turned back to my book and did not look up again until the plane had taken off.

Twenty minutes into the flight, the little boy had calmed down.  He was sitting in his seat, chewing on some crackers, and sipping from a clear green Sprite bottle.  This was, however, just the eye of the storm.  Not more than an hour later, the kicking and screaming started again.  Loud shrieks filled the cabin as the mother once again tried to restrain her angry young son.  The screams were so loud that this time the flight attendant intervened by taking the boy out of his seat and walking him around the cabin to calm him down.  This method worked.  After about 15 minutes, the flight attendant returned the young boy to his family.  He was again calm and happy.  Peace again reigned in the small cylinder cabin.

A few minutes later, I sighed in relief when the pilot announced that we would be landing in Dallas in 20 minutes.  I put my book down, stretched as much as I could in the tight space, and just happened to turn my head in the direction of the family.

Suddenly, my eyes flew open wide and my breath caught in my throat.  The young mother was once again holding onto her small son, only this time, it was much different.  The little boy was asleep.  He was nestled against his mother’s chest as she had her arms wrapped tightly around his body.  As if she was listening to some gentle lullaby in her head, the mother’s body swayed back and forth as she slowly rocked the boy.  Every now and then, her right hand would reach up and stroke back his short blond hair as she kissed him gently on the top of his head. Tears suddenly filled my eyes and my heart began to beat faster as I watched them.  Even after all of the recent tantrums, this woman truly loved her little boy.  All had been forgiven and mother and son were together as one solid image of unconditional love.

I now thought of the times I had tantrums when I was a child (or a young adult for that matter!), and my mother still continued to love me.  I couldn’t help but think what a great world this would be if we could all love the way that mothers do.  Can we, as people, ever overlook and forgive each other’s fears, frustrations, stresses, anxieties, and breakdowns? Could we all try a little harder to be more understanding of each other?

I looked at the young mother and son in their quiet, silent, loving moment and I pledged then that, even though I don’t have children, I was going to start showing more of a motherly love towards all people.  I am going to make this my New Year’s resolution: I want to love all people the way a mother does.