Have you ever saved a memory without meaning to ... without knowing, at the time, that it would be with you always?
The last time I saw my mother, these tulips were in her room, a gift from my brother and sister-in-law. The bouquet was of humble origin, an impulse purchase from the grocery store on the way to the hospital. In the way of all things removed from their roots, the blooms were dying slowly, inevitably. But on this day they were magnificent.
Everyone who came by--doctors, nurses, guests--remarked on the beauty of these flowers, and Mom acknowledged the compliments with pride. She was, in life, an avid gardener. Irises were her favorites, but she loved anything green and growing.
I had my camera with me, and I offered to take a picture. We scoped out a bare wall, the only one away from the equipment and tubing where the light was adequate. I fiddled with the settings and tried not to shake the camera while she watched and waited. I lay next to her in the narrow bed to show her the results in the view screen, and she was so pleased with the pictures we'd made.
Mom is gone now. I have so many memories of her, of our lives together. Each one is a snapshot, a frozen moment in time. This is one of the last.
In the fall, I believe I will plant pink tulips. I will whisper: Mom, do you see? And then I will wait, and I will remember. And I will hope for spring.
More Photos: Round Robins Photo Shoot
Quote: "Forever is composed of nows." ~ Emily Dickinson