Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Rita loved springtime. I recall taking rides with her to witness the earliest blooms of the season, cultivated and wild. In Delaware, she loved her azaleas and rhododendrons. In New York, it was the daffodils and peonies that delighted her after the snow melted. I planted both. She loved the wildflowers, too, and would create grand arrangements with her pickings … a perfect blend of formal and wild. She had a knack.
There were always flowers somewhere in her dwelling, it seems. She kept altars with photos, prayer cards, figurines, candles and almost always a bloom of something to honor the lives of those for whom she prayed.
The first condolence card I opened was from one of my spouse's co-workers. It was a Mass card offering blessings of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the "Little Flower." How fitting this felt.
For Little Rita … and for me.
While the two of us did not see I eye-to-eye in matters religious, we did share so much in matters spiritual. Taking those rides together to witness the blossoms, pausing at harbor's edge to watch boats come and go as the sun set, sitting on the boardwalk gazing at the horizon and witnessing the waves break against the sandy shore … these are just a few memories that conjure those special moments when we would speculate together on the Big Mysteries of life.
These moments are memories I hold with grand fondness.
The last photograph I took of her was on mother's day and she had a flower in her hair. I put it there. And it's no accident.