My mom was never a fan of gifting flowers.
“Such a waste of money.” She said, “They are beautiful, but will die in a few days… I will never buy them. And don’t gift them to me.”
She preferred something practical over something that costs more because of its appearance and what it represents.
“Better you don’t gift me anything at all.” She used to say to me, “Save your money for better use. I get the gesture. That’s all that matters.”
When I was in elementary school, I bought her a very pretty, fake ring. It had a blue plastic gem on its silver-like ring. It didn’t look fake at all — to the 9-year-old me.
With the same amount of money, I could have bought her a single carnation. But since I inherited her pragmatism, after selecting among different colors of gems and different ring designs, I picked that simplistic looked, blue ring.
“This will not just last longer than a fresh carnation. It’s also beautiful. Mom is going to love it.” I thought.
She did say she liked it. And she was happy too. But still, after thanking me, she spent a long time telling me the importance of saving my pocket money for more useful stuff, or “for emergencies”.
“Mama, why don’t you wear the ring I gave you?” I asked my mom a few days later. She wore it right after I gave it to her, for a few hours. But then I never saw it on her finger again.
I was worried that she didn’t like the ring.
I was worried that she’s still mad at me for spending money unwisely.
“Well, I can’t wear it all the time, since the sweat and water will soon make the beautiful color fade…”
“But mama, you know what it represents?” I looked at her, thinking whether I should say something more here.
“Of course.” She smiled, “I always know.”
As a child, I was told to show my love for my mom. But I didn’t know how to.
Besides buying her something, I didn’t know what to do to show her that I appreciated and loved her.
Now she’s gone.
Now I know even less about how to show her that I still love her.
Less than the 9-year-old me.
So I bought her flowers.
They are sitting in front of her picture on my desk right now.
I’m thinking of her every day, missing her every day.
I’m giving my best to live the rest of my life.
I don’t think she will mind me spending the 3 euros for six roses.
Even if she still doesn’t like me buying her flowers, I believe she will understand.
She will understand that gift-giving is a two-way street.
Being able to show her my love in any way, even if not the perfect way she’d like, is what I need.
Getting a response, even if a short complaint about wasting money, would still be perfect.
It was not exactly what I wanted to hear when I was 9. But at least reassuring.
Now it is impossible to get one.
All I can do now is to let the roses bloom for a while. For her.
That’s what I need now.