Sunday, May 10, 2015

White Carnation

The church that my parents took me to every Sunday when I was a child had a little traditional thing every Mother's Day.  As you entered, the ushers would hand out little carnation boutonnieres.  I always loved this.  Beyond the fact that they smelled good, it always made me feel snazzy and grown up to have it pinned to my lapel.

There were two types of ones and white ones.  You got a red carnation if your mother was still around and a white carnation if she was no longer alive.  I remember looking out at the rows of pews during the service and counting the number of men who were wearing white carnations.  For some reason, I was always profoundly sad for them...that even though they seemed very old to my perspective, I knew that they no longer had a Mom and I wondered what that would be like.  I really couldn't imagine just how it would feel.

This Mother's Day, I understand how it feels to wear a white carnation.

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