I was wandering the aisles of this beautiful nursery trying to find flowers for the ceremony. Centers for the tables specifically. I entered the store stoic — playing this role of a responsible 25 year old. One that knows how to pick out her mother’s funeral flowers. The store spun like a merry go round as I searched.
Are these orchids to tall? Will they match the room? Didn’t she hate roses? What about tulips? What about a mix of flowers? Why didn’t I listen to her on the importance of flower arrangements.
My “I know how to plan my mother’s funeral demeanor” wore off as I orbited around obsessing over orchids. Tiny details exhausted me. I internally rolled my eyes when my mom would obsess on a table arrangements at Christmas.
I had never in my life stressed about flowers. I had never planned a big party on my own. I had never understood what it felt like to care so deeply about every detail. The store seemed to spin faster as grappled with caring so deeply and my awareness that it did not matter if she liked these flowers. She wasn’t coming to the party.
“How the fuck is she dead?! This isn’t real. How am I only understanding the importance of freaking center arrangements now?
I don’t want to plan this!
Maybe if I do a good job it will turn into her birthday party?
This should be her birthday not her funeral.”
I didn’t drown in the decision on the nursery floor. The women with me helped me settle on pink roses. Roses in pots so that they wouldn’t die. Pink roses. The ones I loved the most.
I worry she wouldn’t like them. She didn’t like red roses. What if these flowers were wrong?
I will never be able to ask her if the roses were right. I will never ask her what wine to bring my boss on a holiday party. I will never get her opinion on the men I date. I will never get to talk to her again.
My grandma planted the roses on the side of my house. Two years later. Two winters. The keep coming back.
I call the roses Mom, because I miss walking into the house and saying Hi Mom.
I can’t ever say that to a human.
But it fits with these roses.