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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Mothers, flowers and a bit of effort

One of the oddities between the US and the UK is that we have our Mother's Days on different dates. In the UK it tends to be quite early in the year, around March. In the US, it is later, and indeed was this past weekend.

I usually send Ray's mum a card for the UK Mother's Day, and then he sends her one for the US date - we tell her she is worth having 2 days to celebrate. Part of me finds this a bit odd though, because in our family, my parents and grandparents never marked Mother's Day or Father's Day at all. My mum was adamant that she didn't want us to think of her on just one day of the year! I feel the same way (probably because I was brought up that way), and also I find it odd to send a card to someone who isn't actually my mother.

Both my parents are dead. Mum died a few days before I graduated in 2000 and my dad died 6 weeks before Ray went to jail in 2004. But even in my previous relationship, I never sent or wanted cards for those days from my parents-in-law.

What I find even stranger is receiving those cards from any one but my daughter. This year, my mother-in-law sent a very pretty card with a nice verse in it. But I'm not her mother. And even though Ray knows we don't celebrate it at all, he still sends a card that he has someone else draw for me (because he can't even draw stick people).

What did touch my heart this time however, was what was inside the card from Ray. Over the past couple of years he has taken to picking occasional flowers that grow in the courtyards where he is. The inmates are not supposed to, and I do worry that he will get caught one day and catch a case for it (for something so innocent, but still against the rules). He takes the flowers back to his cell and presses them under his mattress. Then, at random times during the year, he sends them to me.

Inside the Mother's Day card he sent me this year were 3 pansy flowers of different colours.

Anyone can grab a bunch of blooms from the local petrol station on their way home and thrust them at their wife or girlfriend as they walk through the door yelling "Hi honey, I'm home!" Anyone, if they have the cash, can make a grand gesture of scattering individual rose petals all over the bedroom and bathroom for that romantic night in.

My husband picks flowers for me in the summer, and sends them to me in the winter, because he loves me all year round.


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