May is one of my favorite months. Trees have started to bud, annuals are being sought out and planted, and some blooms have appeared. We’re having our first glimpse of summer.
Besides the change of season, there were two days our family marked in May: Mother’s Day and our Dad’s birthday. Usually falling close together, sometimes they occurred on the same date. For the first time after both parents have been gone, they share this day again in their absence.
It’s hard not to think about what they’ve missed, both with me and the rest of us. It’s easier to hang onto the pain of losing them. Despite that, there was beauty in their life, and it touched mine too.
That was their gift to me.
I look forward to the trips to the cemetery to honor my parents, and even more so this week. In my thoughts, every day, going to their place of rest is comforting.
Carnations last longer, but I prefer bringing roses with me. The red ones were Dad’s favorite, but I also like the pink and peach shades that Mom enjoyed. Their scent takes me back to our family home, where she would grasp each stem gently and place them in a vase.
I remember feeling overwhelmed when Dad died. He was our last remaining parent, and I was devastated. But while at the florist, the fresh blooms consoled me. Perhaps the best memories of mine were wrapped up in their aroma.
After Mom died, Dad chose a dark teal with a satin finish for their marker. The slate often needs buffing, and the odd piece of grass some brushing off, but it shines even more after that. When I visit their grave, I trace the gold lettering with my finger and place my palm down on their names.
They are with me in so many ways and the places of my heart that matter most.