As with most things in my life, there is a story behind why this iris is so special. You see, my mom loved irises. When I was 12, our house burned down. What was left of the structure, was buried on the property, and another house was moved in to take its place. One of the things my mom wanted to be sure of, was that her irises were saved and planted after the new house was put into place. My mom died the day before I turned 19, so she was not here when I got married, had my boys, had the excitement of buying a house, and many other things. When Scott and I bought our first house, my dad gave us a very special housewarming gift: tubers from my mom’s irises. Each time we moved, we dug up some of the irises to be planted at a new house.
I’ve had to deal with a lot of changes in the past year, and some of those changes have been really hard to come to terms with. How many times I would have loved to ask my mom what she’d do, how she’d feel, and simply ask her for a reassuring hug. Of course, Christmas time is when I think I miss her the most. I miss the candy making days in the kitchen together, the baking days when the smell of banana nut bread would wrap around you like a warm hug, the card games at the dining room table, the excitement we’d all have at putting up the tree and spraying canned snow on the windows. There would always be a bowl of mixed nuts, with a nutcracker, and a bowl of ribbon candy on the coffee table. Christmas music would be put on the record player, and we’d all sing along. Such wonderful memories! Which brings me back to the iris. I was feeling particularly lonely the other day, for my boys, my dad, my mom, my family. I stepped out into the backyard and was having a “chat” with mama, just telling her that I missed her, when I saw this iris blooming in the corner of the yard. One of her irises. In mid December for crying out loud! I felt that very familiar warmth wrap around me, reminding me that she’s still here. Always. Merry Christmas, mama. I love you, too.