“Whatever she planted grew as if by magic, and her fame as a grower of . flowers spread over three counties. Because of her creativity with her flowers, even my memories of poverty are seen through a screen of blooms-sunflowers, petunias, roses, dahlias, forsythia, spirea, delphiniums, verbena … and on and on.” – Alice Walker
I’m certain I never truly understood the significance motherhood held in shaping generations until I, myself, became a mother. There is a power that women who have been initiated into motherhood have that they use to shape the lenses by which their children will see life. And while it’s true that we don’t have the power to be our children’s only influence, we do play a big role in how they interpret the outside influences around them. We, with no exaggeration, cultivate the leaders of each generation, as did the women that came before us. So on this day we celebrate our womanhood, our motherhood and the powerful women who made us powerful women.
I have to admit that I am celebrating this beautiful day with somewhat of a heavy heart. Because although I am ecstatic that I have managed to keep my son in one piece for 2 WHOLE YEARS (insert applause here) this is also the first year I am celebrating Mother’s Day without my Mama. It is hard to describe the feeling of having lost your mother while simultaneously being a mother. For the first time in my life I now fully understand how much she loved me, a love you only experience while loving your own child. The unconditional, all encompassing, fear inducing love that washes over you every time you think about your little one. It is innate, it is even somewhat primal and it is awe inspiring to know that someone that walked this earth felt this way about me.
While this day weighs heavy on me and those whose mother figures are no longer here physically , I find comfort in the garden my mother left behind through me. The seeds that she planted, the weeds that she pulled, the flowers that blossomed because of who she helped me become. So here are five flowers my Mama left behind, through her children, from her garden.
1. A Love of God: Now this is definitely the work of both my Nana and my Mama for sure. My Nana made sure we made it to church every Sunday and that I knew the fundamental lessons of the Bible. Sunday school, choir practice the whole shabang! If it involved church, it involved us. But my Mama showed me who God was outside of the building. The miracles he could perform, the prayers he could answer and the lives he could change. And with every fall from grace she showed me what his unconditional love looked like. This is undeniably my favorite flower that she left for me.
2. Writing: Yes, my queen was a writer and an amazing one at that! Some of my earliest memories were sneaking and reading her poetry books. Her handwriting is engraved into my brain. The swoops and curls and slants. (I also mastered it to forge her signature on school excuse notes and failed tests, so theres that). She would tell my siblings and I of the letters that she would write to God as a child. She loved to write out her prayers. (I do too!) And she encouraged my writing from day one. She taught that writing immortalizes people and captures moments forever. The power of the pen.
3. Compassion: Oh how much of a softie could one girl be? And I got it from my Nana and my Mama. Whether it is lending an ear to a complete stranger so that they can vent about their day or almost literally feeling the heartache of family and friends alike, I have compassion for everyone. I’d like to think that this has aided in forming the long lasting relationships that I have and I feel blessed to be able to be a rock for so many people when they need it.
4. Lightheartedness: I take pride in the fact that I can find joy in just about every situation and that people occasionally find me humorous. I love that I can make people laugh, even when I don’t entirely intend to. I know my joyful Mama taught me this and every time I think of this flower, I think of her laugh. And how similar our bursts of laughter are. Despite the fact that I have a calm and quiet voice and demeanor, my laughter is a loud loud roar, just like my Mamas. And although the sounds aren’t completely the same, the infectious joy it gives those around us is. I love this gift.
5. Confidence: Of course I’m sometimes unsure of myself at times, everyone is. But when it comes to knowing who I am as a woman and the value that I bring to whatever I am apart of, I never falter. My mother and grandmother engrained in me how strong and brilliant I am, not only in my own strength but in the strength that I find in God. They have taught me to grow from every lesson and every blessing that I come across in life and that has shaped who I am today.
So what are five flowers that your Mama planted in her garden that have blossomed through you? Comment down below and post on social media with the hashtag #OurMothersGardens listing 5 flowers from your Mother’s Garden. As long as you cultivate your Mother’s Garden she will always be with you.
Cheers to all the Mamas and Mother Figures who have made us who we are today. And God bless all of us Mamas trying to maintain our sanity raising the generation of tomorrow. Today we celebrate us!
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!