Monday, May 25, 2009

Yoo hoo--it's Memorial Day

I've been a busy little garden bee lately. I'm dividing, planting, watering, sowing seeds, weeding, creating paths and so on and so forth. I went to a plant swap a couple of weeks ago where I learned about a new Yahoo group that facilitates year round plant-swapping in central Indiana. Of course, I joined. And I needed to divide some irises and ferns so I offered the extras up to the group. Today four people came to pick up plants.

Being Memorial Day, I was already thinking of my mom more than usual. Her name was Carol. She passed away in 2003. The first woman who came to pick up plants today was also named Carol. I thought that was a crazy coincidence seeing as how I can't even remember the last time I met someone named Carol. Then two other nice ladies came by for plants. And then the fourth showed up and it turned out that her name was Carol as well. So 50% of the people who came to my house today were named Carol. I think it was my mom's way of reminding me to remember her today.

Then, after all the swapping was over, I emailed the first Carol to thank her for the plants she'd given me, and for some toys she'd added to the mix, and mentioned the crazy coincidence of the names. She emailed back to say that the coincidence went even further. She and her mom shared a favorite flower: the iris, specifically a type they grew when she was a young girl. She also lost her mom in 2003 and always wanted to go back to the house where she grew up to ask for some of the irises there to remember her by, but she never got up the nerve to do so. Since they're an old-fashioned iris variety they aren't available in garden centers anymore. But it turns out that the type I gave her today was identical to the irises in her childhood garden. So when she looks at them she'll be reminded of her mom.

So both of us got to be reminded of our moms in such appropriate ways. It's JUST like my mom to wave her ethereal fingers and say "Yoo hoo! Remember me? Carol? Your loving mother? *tap tap* Is this thing on?"

I remember you, Mom. I think about you often. I'm going to be sure to pass on your pearls of wisdom to my boys, too. Things like: "Don't eat with your fingers--eat with your thumbs." and "If life were fair we'd all have our turn in Ethiopia." I miss you. I love you. So, so much.

10 comments:

starfitch said...

Wow, Alina...it's always obvious why you are a writer. That is really sweet and I'm glad you were able to share that experience with Carol! Can't wait to hear what goodies you get out of your garden this year!

SaRaH said...

OMG.I am totally in love with your mom. The Ethiopia advice is the best I've ever heard.

The Carrels said...

Alina - I'm always amazed at how strange coincidences spur special memories in our minds.

I haven't seen you in such a long time...we need to get the kiddos together SOON!

Christine said...

Stealing your mom's lines.....

braun brothers said...

Oh my goodness! What an amazing story. :) Your mom sounds like an amazing woman, and I think you take after her! :)

Dawn said...

I cannot wait to use the Ethiopia advice. I'm now on the edge of my seat waiting for Zayden to tell me, "It's not fair"....It might be a couple of years, but I am so happy to now have the PERFECT reply to that!!
I know your mom was an amazing woman! I WISH I could have known her. I am grateful though that I have the opportunity to know her daughter who I also have learned from!

Tiffany said...

Ethiopia....classic! Will definitely put that one in my back pocket!

Were those flowers by chance - bearded iris's?

Emily said...

So sweet, Alina. I'll admit it. I'm tearing up reading this.

Doesn't love a wall said...

that was precious for you to share with all of us. sounds lke your mom was an amazing woman

Carrie said...

i don't know how i missed reading this post back when you posted it. your mom sounds like a wonderful woman. i'm sure this weekend was not only her way of getting you to remember her, but also her way of letting you know how proud she is of you. you are an amazing mom to your boys and a wonderful person contributing to keeping our land beautiful (so, i'm obviously not nearly the writer you are...). BTW -- my mom's name is Joan Carol. Our family calls her Carol. :o)