Empty Streets. Eerie Calm. No Celebrations. The 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe, WW11, passed without the usual crowds and with very little ceremony. Newscasts recognized the day and there were comments from our dwindling number of veterans. As one reporter said, “This might be our last chance to hear from WW11 veterans.”
Twenty-five years ago, Mum took a tour that celebrated the 50th Anniversary of VE Day. As the article shows, May 8th, 1945 was to have been her wedding day. It was postponed until July 11th. My Dad was with the Canadian Army for the six years of WW11.
Mum died 14 years ago when she was almost 85 years old. Like everyone of her generation, the war marked her and my Dad. She survived the Battle of Britain and he, serving in an artillery unit.
When Mum was alive, (she was widowed at 53), I used to like to make Mother’s Day special. Usually it would involve a home-cooked meal with even a dessert. One year when he was 18 years old (or so) my son did the whole schmear for us both. BBQ and the trimmings. If it was nice, we’d eat outside.
Mum loved gardening and in particular, tried to coax tea roses to bloom in our harsh prairie environment. Sometimes she was successful but I never realized what she was trying to create until I saw their abundant tumble in English gardens. She had a green thumb and even once she had moved into an assisted living Lodge, she maintained hanging baskets and containers of flowers.
Each year, the local Flower Club organized a bench show (likely in conjunction with Stampede Association later on). I helped her with her exhibits in later years (and even entered a few categories myself). Mum won firsts and she, and a good friend, made a whole day of it.
This time of year, she and I would have gone to the local greenhouses and I could get both of our purchases in the car trunk. It was an afternoon of relaxed wandering through the potential of this year’s flowers. The year after she died, when I went myself, I was struck by nostalgia. Without Mum, the greenhouse lost some of its colour. This year, Mother’s Day, will be different for everyone but phone calls can help. I miss you, Mum.