Perhaps it is because my son is getting married in a couple weeks or maybe it’s just a case of the January blues, but I have been feeling melancholy and even weepy the last little while. A case in point is this week-end when I was cleaning out my closet (part of my new year’s resolution to declutter my life over the next 365 days). Hanging up high on a shelf was a huge tissue flower my son had made for me years ago, when he was probably in grade 4 or 5.
The flower was made of different colours of tissue for each petal and was held together by a green pipe cleaner, pushed through each petal and forming the stem. My son’s name was printed on the most inner petal. It was very beautiful, and I always loved that tissue flower. It hung in my bedroom on our acreage for many years. When we moved into Prince Albert, the flower came with me and I wrapped the stem around a peg on one of the shelves in my closet and it has hung there ever since. Every time I opened my closet door, I would see it. As time went on, the colours on the tissue had become very faded and it suffered from a few rips and tears.
As I was cleaning out the closet, I looked at my faded and wilted flower and decided it was time to let it go. I tried to unwrap the pipe cleaner but ended up just ripping the flower off my shelf. I immediately regretted my decision and tried to put the flower back together, to no avail. So, I stacked the tissue back into shape (or as close as I could), set it on my dresser, and decided I should show it to my son before I actually disposed of it.
A day or so later, my son came to our house and I showed him the flower. He said, “I made that?” I showed him his name on the petal. I told him how much I had loved it and how I had kept it all these years. He smiled, shook his head and said, “I don’t remember making that”. I told him that I just wanted him to know I had kept it and enjoyed it.
After a couple days, I have come to the realization that it probably isn’t the flower itself that I am mourning, but this new milestone in our lives. And while I love my future daughter-in-law and she fits in so well with our family, this wedding marks a change in the dynamics of our family. I know it’s a good change, but it is a change all the same.
Having said that, I must admit that the broken flower is still sitting on my dresser and has not yet found its way to the recycle bin. Maybe in another day or so. Meanwhile, I wonder if I should point out to my son the pink ribbon tied around my bedroom lamp…. the one he tied on the lamp when he was learning to tie and proclaimed in his baby voice that “the ribbon will look pretty here”.
Yes, even good change is hard.