I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death.
They continue to participate in every act, thought, and decision we make.
For Mother's Day this year, my mom bought me this plant.
Oh, I know. She's been gone almost five years now.
Gone in a physical sense, that is.
But her voice inside of me is alive and well, thank you very much, and speaks out to me more clearly than ever.
Of course, it would be nice to communicate with her on human terms, but I'm not complaining. To be honest, I feel closer to my mom now that she's an eternal being, as if the static from a poorly tuned radio has finally been adjusted and the reception is crystal clear.
And while I feel, in an indistinct, hazy, spiritual kind of way, that she and I are still very much connected and moving along together, there are times when I'd like to cement that sensation in a tangible, physical kind of way.
Now some people report that their dearly beloved ones leave them dimes or feathers, lead them to butterflies, or even appear as visions. And I believe that all those manifestations are real, though my mom has never chosen to communicate with me that way.
Instead, my mom buys me gifts.
Oh yes, she does.
It happened again this past week, just a few days before Mother's Day.
As my third and fourth daughters and I wandered around the indoor plant displays at Sky Nursery, I saw a hundred leafy lovelies and pretty planters that I wouldn't be mad about getting, but nothing really caught my eye. Shocked - and thankful to be getting out of there without spending a fortune for once -I sidelined myself into an alcove crammed with basic, boring terracotta pots to wait for my daughters to finish their shopping. I figured I was safe there from any further temptation.
But what I didn't know was that tucked back behind the predictable rows of conventionally-shaped orangey-brown numbers was a vision waiting for me to happen upon it.
patterned with circles and ovals,
dancing around a happy shape,
the most beautifully perfect pot I've seen in quite some time.
Picking it up and turning it round in my hands, I read a satisfying seventies vibe, and caught a flash of those years of growing power and success in my mom's life.
I felt my mom's presence.
Carrying the pot in my arms, I headed back toward my daughters, who were still browsing, and asked their opinion.
"Yes," my fourth born confirmed. "It's very you."
Now my attention tuned to finding a plant that spoke to the pot.
A plant that would also speak of my mom.
And again, my fourth-born readily tuned into my wavelength.
"What about this one?" she suggested, holding up a darling schefflera arboricola. I gasped.
My daughter had no way of knowing that for many years, my mom grew a huge schefflera arboricola in our front entry way, one of the few spaces in our eccentric little lake house that gave her a genuine sense of pride.
It was the perfect plant for the perfect pot, and when I set the two together to get a glimpse of the total effect, I fairly vibrated with certainty.
This was a gift from my mom.
And I love it, in so many ways. Thanks, Mom!