The white chrysanthemums

Today our son went to do the shopping. I don’t often purchase flowers for the house but for the last couple of weeks I have been longing for some household blooms, in addition to the three male varieties ( husband, son and pooch) with whom I am spending twenty four seven!

There were no blooms to be found last week. I put in my request again this week.

Son arrived home after venturing out into the danger zone. In an attempt to create a bit of humour, hiding something behind his back he announced “‘shut your eyes, Mum!” Little flutters of excitement began as I played myself into the scene. “Ta dah!” he exclaimed and there before me, crisp, clear, elegantly long stemmed, a bunch of white chrysanthemums!

“They’re chrysanthemums “ I said. “ Did they have others?” “ Yeah, but I recognised the name so I bought them for you.” Parts of my heart , the good, mother love, mother pride, selfless parts, melted in spite of those bits that remained as cold as ice!

He would recognise the name! Every year, as Mothers Day approaches I go on and on and on about how much I loathe, detest and abominate white chrysanthemums! Why? Some years ago I read a book titled “ The White Chrysanthemum”. I wish I still had it. It’s preface described in detail, why the flower is the perfect representation of the joy of being a mother.

In first bloom it is pristine! Beautiful. Tall! Stunning! All it needs is to be plonked into a vase. Any vase! Waterford crystal or plastic from the shit shop. Doesn’t matter which. Make sure there’s plenty of water, place it on a table, shelf, ledge, anywhere doesn’t matter really and set and forget!

And there it will remain, unattended, unnoticed, occasionally commented on for as long as you like! It doesn’t even wilt! The leaves on the stem might yellow a bit. If it’s left long enough a couple of leaves might fall off bringing the arrangement to your attention!

“ Time to do something about those flowers” and that is when the bunch is extracated from the vase and the truth is revealed! The odious water, the hideous, slimy fetid mush that was once the tall, strong, elegant stems, all of which is still connected to the white of those flowers! It almost seems a shame to get rid of them! And then you inhale! Enough said!

But, for now, those chrysanthemums are like glistening white gold to me as they look down from my best (and only) Waterford crystal vase. A reminder of our outside contact gift who is loyal, reliable and so very loved! Thank you, Joe.

I’ll get rid of them before they go beyond the use by date and next time, well, it’ll probably be chrysanthemums again but I won’t mind!!

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