Really late getting to this one today. But for my friends in Canada, it will be just about right.
Today, in Canada, and for the next 30 minutes (or until I finish this), it is Mother’s Day. A day we reflect, remember, appreciate, gives thanks for, our mothers. Sorry dads, but your day is coming!
Surprising, this is one of the EXTREMELY few recognized days throughout the year, that Taiwan recognizes the same as Western cultures. One difference that I’ve noticed though, is the gift. The ‘traditional’ gift we give our mothers on Mother’s Day is roses. I also noticed that many people will opt for ‘mums’ (chrysanthemums). I guess because of the shortened word, mum, on Mother’s Day… go figure. I, personally, think that mums are a much better choice anyway. They last longer, you can plant them outside, and they will bloom all summer. You cut them, put them in a vase, and they seem to last forever. What a wonderful flower to give to your ‘mum’!
Here in Taiwan though, the traditional flower is a red carnation. I’m sure it is perfectly acceptable to give other flowers, but the red carnation is the accepted norm. And lord knows, that the Taiwanese don’t dare mess with tradition!
This year though, I noticed something a bit different. Maybe because of distance, or the fact that the internet is more accessible, but many people were giving their moms virtual flowers. Now, there is something to be said about these particular flora! They will NEVER die, you never have to throw them out, they don’t make a mess, they won’t make you sneeze… They are also environmentally friendly, I suppose.
I as well, gave my mother a flower – a purple orchid. Now, if I was in Canada, the idea of giving an orchid is almost unheard of. Orchids tend to be expensive, and very temperamental plants at best. They require a lot of work, a lot of care, and are just not the type of plant you give just anyone. Sure, as a corsage, they’re great. As a decoration on a plate, exquisite. To give one though is like giving the receiver a child! Here in Taiwan though, orchids are everywhere. They come in so many colours, sizes, from the very plain, to the very ornate and delicate. Although again, it’s not the type of plant that I would just give anyone – even here in Taiwan.
Upon sending my mom and several other ‘moms’ I know a virtual orchid, the following message appeared. I think it kind of sums up our mothers…
“Selfless. Strong. Loving. Those are just some of the many words used to describe moms.”
I also noticed that another friend of mine, who is also a mom, and whom I lovingly call mom as well, even though she’s only a year or two older than me (right, Marie!! – just nod ‘yes’), posted this note on Facebook…
If roses grow in Heaven,
Lord please pick a bunch for me.
Place them in my mother’s arms
And tell her they’re from me.
Tell her that I love and miss her,
And when she turns to smile,
Place a kiss upon her cheek
And hold her for a while.
Because remembering her is easy,
I do it everyday.
But there is an ache within my heart
that will never go away.
And please tell her Happy Mother’s Day!
I miss you mom.
I was on a train to Kao-hsiung with my friend Cliff. He’s in China for a month’s training with his work. Nonetheless, I had him read this, not because it was from Marie, but because his mother passed away several years ago. I don’t know whether he really understood it just reading off my iPhone, but I’m sure when he reads it again, it will strike something within him.
I can only imagine what it must be like for many of you who have lost your mother. Although over years there have been the ups and downs that we all go through, the constant that is always with us, is our family – and in particular, our parents. I am thankful that I am still able to wish my mother a Happy Mother’s Day. I wish her all the best, and hopefully, sometime in the near future, I’ll be able to give her a kiss and hug to go with her ‘virtual’ orchid.
Happy Mother’s Day, to all the mother’s I know – family and friends included.