I’ve been meaning to buy flowers for the house that Mom used to live in since I started spending so much time here last September.
Time to help Mom cross the thresholds of, first, major surgery, then rehab, and, finally, life in a wonderful Assisted Living Community. Time to help me adjust to the sudden reality of having on my hands a house filled with thirty-five years of memories.
But there just wasn’t time to buy flowers. Or it just wasn’t the right time.
Until last night.
Until I found myself, at the end of a long travel day that began in Boston and ended in Dallas, zig-zagging through Whole Foods, looking for something quick and easy to make for dinner. Something that would keep in the car as I stopped at Mom’s new home to hear about her day and kiss her good night.
Until these hot pink Gerbera daisies called me over.
They were only $5 (which is practically free, especially at Whole Foods).
“Oh why not?” I thought, before immediately answering my own question with all the why nots: Because you’re leaving town again in three days, because the flowers might dry out as they sit in the car while you see Mom, because that petal looks a little wilted.
“Oh shush,” the flowers said. “It’s a Tuesday, it’s 8 o’clock, you’re here, we’re here. Why not indeed?”
Mary Oliver once asked, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I think sometimes we hear questions like that and think the answers have to be be big and dramatic. But I’m not so sure. I think sometimes the answer, the plan, can be as simple as buying 5 Gerbera daisies for $5, which is what I did last night.
Because it was time.