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Forty Bloomin’ Years!


The white chrysanthemum is doing its faithful blooming again. It’s that time of the year. But this particular plant has a long history.  It used to belong to my mother. She died in March of 1982 at the age of 69. She had this very chrysanthemum hanging in a basket on her back veranda, and since chrysanthemums bloom in the fall, I can assume that she bought it some time in 1981 or earlier, at least 41 years ago.

My dad asked if I wanted to take the plant home because it would just die. He was no gardener. So the chrysanthemum came home with me in 1982. Every year since then, it has bloomed in the fall.  I think of my mother more often than just at chrysanthemum time, but when I glance at the flowers on my deck, I find there is some connection to her.

Last year I realized I’d been greedy about this plant and since it was crowded in the pot, I shared part of the plant with my sister. She now has some of this plant in her garden. I worried a little bit that by dividing the plant I might have killed it, but it came back as cheerily as ever this year.

I’d like to share some of my mother’s traits with you.

She loved her children.

She loved to laugh and tease in a kind way. And she loved puns.

She had a beautiful singing voice and loved music.

She could cook and bake great food without a recipe.

She taught us to keep ourselves and our house clean.

If one of us kids were in a nasty mood, she’d say, “Go find some place out of this room, and come back when you can smile.”

But if we had a problem that needed solving, she was always there to listen and most of all to give us a hug.

She made us pitch in to help with chores. I learned a lot about cooking from being her helper in the kitchen. I can still hear her telling me not to leave the wooden spoon in the pot or pan. “Don’t cook the wooden spoon,” she’d say.

She was kind to animals. We always had pets – dogs, cats, turtles, tropical fish, gerbils – and they had a good life in our house.

She was a “nurse” without official training, taking care of all our aches, pains, and illnesses, as well as those of our pets. When our cat had trouble closing its jaw, I watched as my mother reached way back into the cat’s mouth, and pulled a fish backbone  (a vertebra – like a tiny spool of thread) off the cat’s back tooth where it had become stuck. The moment the cat felt that the bone was removed, she licked my mother’s hand to say thank you over and over.

She encouraged me about school. Every single day, as I left for school, she told me, “Listen to the teacher and be good.”

About my schoolwork she told me, “Every day when you do your work, turn the page and look at yesterday’s work. Then start today’s work and try to do it better than yesterday’s.”

I never saw her lie down for a nap. There was always work to do. Sometimes at night if the bedroom light was on as I tip-toed past on my way to the bathroom, I would see her reading in bed, and as often as not, her eyes would be closed.  She’d had a full day.

She didn’t have a long life, but she sure packed a lot into the life she had, and she made the world a better place when she was in it.

So I’m always happy to see that her chrysanthemum, the very same plant, still blooms for her and has done for forty years.




Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

65 thoughts on “Forty Bloomin’ Years!

  1. What a lovely tribute. Your mother was beautiful.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That chrysanthemum is amazing. Mine are lucky to last a year.

    I like the sound of your mom, Anneli.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, you did it, you made me miss your mom, and I never met her. Far from the way my mom was, who was/is a great cook but wouldn’t let me in her kitchen (which I wrote about in my memoir). And she took naps often.
    I’m sorry you lost your mom so young. Her love is still with you, which means she lives on, and the those flowers are a beautiful reminder. Thank you for sharing about her.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful tribute. Now I’m wishing I could have met your mother; I know I would have liked her. It’s amazing that the plant has lasted so many years, but I’m sure it’s had some of the same loving care that your mother gave to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And the cold winters it has suffered through! Some years I worried that I might have lost it in spite of covering it with burlap, but it is resilient. I know you would have like my mother if you’d met her. I don’t believe she had an enemy on this earth.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so beautiful, Anneli, God bless your family! She sounds like a lovely woman. It’s amazing that the plant is still blooming decades later, beautiful! ❤️☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Du hast so viel schönes über deine Mutter geschrieben. Das könnte ich jetzt nicht ❤️❤️❤️


  7. I love your mother. She sounds like the perfect mom. And she was pretty, too!!! That is such an incredible story about the flowers. It sounds almost too magical to be true.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your Mom sounds like a remarkable woman. A good memorial tribute to her Anneli. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a wonderful person your mother was, Anneli. A lovely tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. She sounds like a beautiful soul and role model. Wow! I’m glad the plant survived. They are like old friends.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Anneli, you were blessed to have such a caring mother and the chrysanthemum is a reflection of her grace and beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Anneli your Mom was such an amazing nurse and taking care of everyone. Anita

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for sharing your mom with us, Anneli. ❤️ What a beautiful tribute to her. I love that you still have her chrysanthemum alive and healthy after all these years!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is a beautifully completed memorial to your beloved mother Anneli, through your white chrysanthemum. One of your best ‘wordsfromanneli”. You resemble your mother, inside and outside, her ongoing best self.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My chunk of white chrysanthemum is in full bloom here as well. Every time it blooms it is like she is sending me a message of love. Thank you so much for the chunk of the plant, and for the beautiful tribute you posted. We were truly very lucky to have her as our mother and she worked so hard every single day to make sure we all felt loved and safe. I miss her immeasurably.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a lovely post this is! I remember your mother very well. I liked her right away. She was a beautiful woman in- and outside with a big loving heart. It´s amazing that her plant is still alive and blooming every year for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Your post is a great tribute to your mother’s love. Let the flowers continue to bloom in her memory, Anneli!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a beautiful post about your mom, Anneli, bookended by her lovely white chrysanthemums that bloom in your garden. Your love for your mom came through and brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for sharing your lovely memories. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a wonderful post about your mom! Thank you for sharing!!


  20. What a beautiful, sweet, loving, and incredible post, Anneli. I really enjoyed learning about your mom. Your memories of her are so “right on,” and those traits – persistence, hard work, beauty, and no-nonsense – come through in your “forever” chrysanthemum, white for purity of character. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  21. A lovely tribute to your mother! When the flowers bloom it must fill you with good memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautiful words! Every one overflows with love. When my only sister was in grade school, she started a daisy plant in a Dixie cup. Later the plant was transplanted in a backyard flower bed. Years later, a portion of the daisies were transplanted again. They continue to bloom to this day, and my Mom cherishes them.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Man we had to get rid of all of dad’s flowers when he died in November in Illinois and he was a Bilbo level gardener. It really makes me sad to think about here in Brooklyn

    what a treasure you have

    Liked by 1 person

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