This is what was left of my Mother's Day flowers two weeks after Mother's Day. My husband and my beautiful children brought me a bouquet of roses and lilies and daisies and greens. After the roses and lilies started to droop, I took them out and kept the daisies and greens. Today, a single daisy still remains in a bud vase on my counter. ...I like to draw out the bouquet as long as I can, cutting stems, replacing water, and picking out the drooping blooms until it's time to let it all go. I think we do holidays like that, and birthdays, too, here at The Midnight Cafe. The streamers from Niteo's surprise birthday party over a week ago still grace the doorways, just as the balloons from Mane's party hung from the trees in the yard until they wrinkled up and had to be cut down. And Vespera's wedding bouquet still hangs from the hook in the kitchen ceiling. We honor the person(s), whose day it was, as we pass by the bits of their celebration day after day.
I heard once that your birthday isn't over until you receive the last card. I like that. We like to draw things out, milk them dry to the very last drop, and then we can be ready to release them...because the memory will be ours, even when the balloons have wrinkled, and the streamers have fallen, and the daisies have, at last, faded.
I read a poem yesterday by Will Allen Dromgoole called Fragments From the Years, and the last line sticks with me. In speaking of memories, he says,
"And sometimes, when life seems to hard, we give them greeting,
And know that memory is a possession, too."
I think of the way we hold onto the last vestiges of bouquets and decorations as out way rehearsing our memories before we tuck them away.