Monday, June 22, 2009

Forever Memory Garden

I was thinking of remembering my mother in a special, almost permanent way when the thought of a remembrance garden came to mind. My friend, Jennifer Blair, thought this was a great idea and volunteered to help me. You must know that I have a “black” thumb when it comes to gardening so when Jennifer said she would help me I was not only excited, but also relieved.

Jennifer flew down from Washington DC to Cairo, Georgia, where my husband and I own twenty acres. She surprised me with a beautiful ceramic plaque that she had made and which read, “In Memory of Marina Gonzalez”.
I picked a sight near the lake for the garden and where I would be able to see the garden from the windows of our future home. I bought an old bench, with lots of character, for $10 and placed it under a magnolia tree and placed it in front of the future garden with a view of the lake.

Jennifer and I planted the garden in memory of my mother on Father’s Day weekend. We planted lilies, cannas, lantana, begonias, portulacas, speedwell and one Juliet Dahlia. It was 102 degrees but we persevered and finished the garden without getting heat stroke. We placed the plaque leaning against the cannas. The garden is truly lovely, achieved with a lot of love with every hole dug and every plant placed in the earth.

You might ask why do something in honor of my mother on this special day for fathers? I know my father understands why I did something for my mother on his day. He always gave my mother beautiful cards for Valentine’s Day, for anniversaries, and for every other occasion and gave her beautiful gifts. He so appreciated the special person my mother was. So I am honoring my mother on his behalf—that is my Father’s Day present to him. I know my mother is smiling down from heaven looking at her garden.

I will remember sweet memories of both of my parents whenever I sit on the bench overlooking the beautiful garden.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Father’s Day without Father

What do you do when there is no father to celebrate on Father’s Day?
I decided to make a donation to Hospice in memory of my father.

Both my mother and father were in Hospice the last weeks of their lives. Hospice served as a peaceful time for their last days—no pain, no more needles sticking in them, no more X-rays, no more hospital. Apparently, in medieval times, hospice was a place where weary travelers found shelter. Now Hospice provides an environment where those facing life-limiting illnesses can live their last days in comfort, at peace and in control of their health care. I am grateful for the care they received.

So this Father’s Day, if your father has passed, think about giving to your favorite non-profit organization in memory of your father. It will make your heart feel good and you will know that your father was remembered.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where's My Chicken Soup

I've been under the weather the last couple of days. These are one of the times I really miss my mother. When she was alive, she would check on me every day or I would check in on her with a phone call. During the call, if she found out I was not feeling well, she would make me homemade chicken soup and drive forty-five minutes to my home to deliver it to me.

There is no substitute for a mother's caring ways. Not getting chicken soup is one of the things I have to get use to. But still I yearn for my mother's chicken soup.