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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Entry for May 10, 2008

Sometime about fifty years ago a very troublesome little snot-nosed kid was playing inside the house when he heard someone on the radio mention that it was Mother’s Day; reminding everyone to give flowers to Mom. The little kid knew better than to pick any of the garden flowers his Mom had just planted, so he ran outside, busying himself picking a handful of dandelions. He scurried back into the house and presented the dandelion bouquet to his Mom, wishing her a very loud “Happy Mother’s Day!”, only to have her break down in tears. She could tell by the look on her son’s face that he now thought he was in trouble for doing something wrong, so she tried to explain that sometimes people would cry when they were happy. The kid didn’t buy the explanation, he was sure that once again he had screwed up. It would take several years for him to grasp the concept of “happy tears.”

Over the many years of his adult life, he bought flowers to give or send to his Mother on Mother’s Day. Not long before she passed away, she surprised him by asking if he remembered giving her the bouquet of dandelions so many years before. She spoke lovingly about how touched she was with that Mother’s Day gift, the gift that had cost him nothing but the effort. Of all of the Mother’s Day flowers that he had given her, none had every replaced the bouquet of dandelions that he planted in her heart.

A couple of days before Mother’s Day this year he visited the cemetery. At the head of her grave, a single dandelion was growing. A few “happy tears” crept from his eyes, chasing down into his gray beard. He stood there for several minutes, smiling at the memory. He then told his Mom that he loved her, turned, and slowly walked away.

Happy Mother’s Day.

James A. Zachary Jr.

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