My Mother always gave me fresh flowers. This is my 13th year of teaching, and for the past 13 years, she sent flowers to my classroom on my first day back from summer vacation. She said “if you have to go back, you might as well have something pretty to look at.” She sent flowers every year on the day of my spring concert. The card always offered encouragment and love because that day was usually pretty stressful. The fern and potted arrangements on our porch, the wreath on the front door, and the hanging baskets in the yard were always her staple contributions as well. These flowers always looked perfect the first few days they were around, but then the dying process started. She would always say (in her sweet, southern, yet “get this done!” voice) “Amy, you have to keep your flowers watered.” Or to insinuate I WAS watering them (usually when I was not), she would say “Amy, these flowers need A LOT of water. You have to take care of things if you want them to stay pretty.”
As I make daily decisions, I so often think “what would mom do?” You better believe I have spent the past 5 weeks watering my flowers like crazy. Mother spent a lot of time teaching me about how to take care of things we love. She was big on not skipping little details. She demonstrated that in the way she fostered her friendships. She demonstrated that in the way she took care of her car, her clothes, cleaning the house, decorating her office, watering the flowers etc. Mother took great care of everything, especially me. She taught me so much about life, the little details and the big stuff as well.
We started a Gigi garden just a few weeks ago. It is beautiful, just like Mother. Will and I sit on her bench we placed out there and talk about our favorite Gigi memories. We pull weeds and talk about her. Charlotte waters “Gigi’s flowers”, and we talk about Gigi as much as we can. Everything reminds me of her. Every flower. Every shopping trip. Every song. Every load of laundry. Everything. The garden helps ease some of that pain. It is something she would love, and I want to take care of it in pure Judy King style. It is definitely a work in progress, and we have a lot of work left to do. But for now, I can work in there and make her proud.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not labor or spin.” – Matthew 6:28