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Missing Mom, Missing Tina

Why, you might ask, would a florist who has worked 90 hours this week, be taking the time to write a blog? Surely, I deserve a rest! I must confess, that a glass of wine and a warm bubble bath sounds wonderful right about now.

The truth is that Mother's Day is an emotional day for me. With no time to really process my feelings and being responsible for helping to make other peoples mother's happy, my thoughts constantly turn towards my own mother. I've noticed over the years that Mother's Day is a very emotional holiday. It's amazing the look on a woman's face when you hand her those flowers! It's what inspires me most in this business.

But with all the good and honorable feelings, sometimes negative and discouraging feelings arise. I remember about 6 years ago a woman called me late on Sunday afternoon and wanted me to know that she was most displeased with the flowers she had received from her daughter. I was, of course, very upset and offered to redeliver something else to her or to let her come to the shop and pick out whatever she wanted. She took me up on my offer and decided to come in to the shop to make a switch. When she came in and walked around the cooler, she wanted to know which arrangements she could choose from and I told her that she could pick out any arrangement she wanted, no matter what the price was. I noticed that the arrangement she was bringing back was a cute little hand blown glass vase offered by Teleflora that year. I remember thinking that most likely her daughter had picked that particular arrangement because she thought the vase was pretty. Mind you, this was not a big and showy arrangement, just a sweet vase filled with pink and green blooms. Anyway, the woman felt uncomfortable with the notion of picking out a large arrangement out of the cooler and so really wanted me to point out others in the same price range of what her daughter had spent. Obviously, for me this was awkward, as I felt that as a gift it was not my place to disclose the cost. Finally, she picked a medium size arrangement in a clear glass vase and very sheepishly added that she thought that one was more of an appropriate size gift that she should receive from her daughter. She went on to say that she had sacrificed so much for her daughter, commuting far each day into the city, all to put her daughter through law school. The truth was finally out. It wasn't the flowers that were a problem, it was the perceived value of what her daughter had sent to her that bothered her. I gently reminded the woman that it was sweet of her daughter to think so much of her as to send her flowers and that no matter the cost, she was lucky to have a daughter so thoughtful.
As she drove away, thoughts drifted to my sister in law. That was the first Mother's Day that she was spending without her beloved daughter Tina, who had been taken from us at the tender age of 21 just 5 months earlier. All day I had thought about my sister in law and how that day must be making her feel. Knowing that last year she was a mother to two beautiful children and now this year to only one. I also thought about my own lovely mom. I thought about how unselfish she was. How understanding of me and my career that she not only didn't get to be pampered by me on Mother's Day, but had to do the pampering for me when I was tired from the weeks craziness. I could never imagine my mother expecting a gift in return for everything she had done for me. Whatever I gave to my mother, she cherished. It was never about the gift, it was the love behind it that meant the most to her. I'd give anything to be able to give my mother the worlds largest floral arrangement but the truth is, that if she were still alive, that would be the last thing she'd expect. With a mom like that, it's no wonder that this day makes me miss her so much.

I sometimes wonder why all the emotionalism on this holiday but yet I understand. How can I not when the above clearly shows the emotionalism the holiday brings out in me. So, when I get those crazy calls saying that the corsage her husband sent to her is not what she wanted and that we have ruined her holiday, I have to take a deep breath and say "it's not completely about the flowers". We might be the trigger and we may even been the target for blowing off steam but 99.9% of the time we make people happy and knowing that is enough for me.
Georgianne Vinicombe - Monday Morning Flowers
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