Gramma and I always made a big thing out of buying our flowers for our porches every year. We’d go to several places and make a whole day out of it. As she got older and couldn’t stand all day trips, we’d make it a “flower week” and hit a different place each day to shop and come home and plant/hang up baskets of flowers. She always helped me pick out the flowers she knew wouldn’t die on me (she could grow seeds in rocks…I cannot grow much more than zinnias and marigolds). It was our one big money splurge every spring.
I’ve tried to buy flowers all of May and June. I tried, but I just stood in Wal-Mart and cried every time and left empty handed because it just feels so lonely and so wrong and so hard to do it without her with me.
Ted took me to Four Mile Nursery today, the greenhouse Gramma and I loved the most. I did cry (hard while picking them out and really hard at the register because I realized that my flower envelope had the money I’d saved to buy both of our flowers this year because I had wanted to give her a treat), but I did it; I picked out four gorgeous hanging baskets and bought them. The cashier there hugged me (she remembered Gramma and I from years past and told me she is a grandmother herself), and she gave me a Rose of Sharon to plant and said to remember every year when it blooms that Gramma is still with me in my heart.
The firsts are hard…everyone talks about first holidays or first big events being hard after someone dies. For me, it’s been the little firsts that have been the hardest. After she died in April, I drank coffee from McDonald’s for a long while because it was too hard to make it at home after dropping Jake off at school; we had coffee together every single weekday morning for years, and I couldn’t stand not being with her for our morning routine. It was so hard brewing that first cup at home one morning without her.
Today it was the first time alone picking out the flowers that we always previously did together.
I’m not sure this will ever get easier, but I know Gramma would be so proud of me for finally getting some flowers on my “naked looking porch”.
I’m trying, Gramma. I’m trying.