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It was just cold enough to be refreshing while the sun was bright enough to be warm on her face when not in the shadows of the courtyard. It was getting on towards the end of a bad year that could have been worse. She was working hard, very hard, at getting her strength and balance back so she could leave this place and go back to her home. He’d come to see her every day and when it was warm enough they’d bundle up and go out into the fresh air for coffee.

On that day she happened to glance down towards the somewhat abandoned plantings that were waiting for Spring to be refreshed. “Oh, look at that,” she said. “Flowers. Flowers still.”

He looked down and saw what had to be the world’s smallest daisies peeking out from a plant low to the ground, almost hidden under a mound of leaves. He picked one and placed in her hands. she held it and looked at it for along moment and then placed it carefully on her lap.

They finished their coffee and then her therapist found them in the courtyard. “It’s time to do some more walking,” he said. “We need to get your balance back.”

On the way back inside he saw her pick up the miniature daisy from her lap and place it in the pocket of her robe. She did this deliberately. She wanted to be sure it would not be crushed.

Later he saw it on the table in her room. It was in a small cup and had been carefully watered.  It was still there and still fresh when the first day of the New Year came around.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • KCBill January 2, 2019, 9:52 AM

    Thank you for that post, sir. What a gift she has! While the actual quote is “…blessed are your eyes because they see,” I must opine that blessed are *her* eyes because they see!

  • Julie January 2, 2019, 10:44 AM

    Every little flower from a boy to his Mama adds to the bouquet that remains eternally in a sunny corner of her heart.

  • John Venlet January 2, 2019, 10:55 AM

    Exquisite. The flower, your mom’s hand (with that bold, red fingernail polish), and your words.

  • Anonymous January 2, 2019, 11:00 AM

    Julie, your comment expands the meaning of the bouquet to all corners of her heart.

  • Marica January 2, 2019, 12:19 PM

    I am anxious for the day you can take her home, where she belongs. God speed.

  • Hangtown Bob and Peg January 2, 2019, 1:50 PM

    She is recovering……. She WILL recover!

  • Jimmy January 2, 2019, 5:33 PM

    Those words are timeless. I have to pause to consider them.

  • Roger Drew Williams January 2, 2019, 5:53 PM

    Mr. Vandeeun, your powers of observation are still as sharp as your pen. Your words make my heart bleed. I’ve been having a rough few years lately, and am frankly embarrassed that I have not been able to assist you during your current travails. I can promise you that I willdig deeper. May God continue his blessings upon you and your Mother, and through you, may the rest of us still be blessed as well. Happy New Year. Thank you.

  • Roger Drew Williams January 2, 2019, 5:56 PM


  • Hale Adams January 2, 2019, 8:30 PM

    As you have been told many times by many of us here ….. You are a very fortunate man, Gerard.

    Hale Adams
    (usual tag-line left off as not-apropos)

  • Kristin January 2, 2019, 8:35 PM

    Those moments with your mother are precious. I wish mine would still be here.
    Thank you.

  • Joe Krill January 2, 2019, 8:42 PM

    An aura of spiritual peace shines forth from your writing.

  • Derak January 2, 2019, 9:24 PM

    Exquisite photo. The manicured nails…..

    I commend you for your unsurpassed regard for your mother. I see reverence glowing.

    The day my mother died, some 20 years ago, I knew for a fact the only one on earth, who truly loved me, was gone. You understand this. God Bless.

  • Monty James January 3, 2019, 7:04 AM

    This is beautiful. I spend too much time taking in the thoughts of idiots elsewhere on the web, and right here is something beautiful.

  • Phillipa Crawford January 3, 2019, 9:09 AM

    You paint a lovely picture with words.

    And how nice that someone does her nails.

  • Sam L. January 3, 2019, 10:20 AM

    Gerard, the good son of the good mother.

  • Lynne January 3, 2019, 11:35 PM

    How wonderful to be loved like that.

  • Jaynie January 4, 2019, 5:05 AM

    Wonderful story, GVDL. I found something intense, absorbing, about accompanying, even shepherding, a well loved parent through medical travails. The experience vibrated through so many levels of my being. And yet, despite that intensity, our exterior was simple efficiency. Those seemed to be touching moments shared between parent and offspring. I miss mine both terribly. Still.

  • DeAnn January 10, 2019, 8:54 AM

    “Often we don’t even discover them as memories until years later when they emerge, not as they were, but as they have become as our souls expand enough to value what we thought at the time was dross as the real gold of our lives”. ~ Gerard Van der Leun

    Apparently you are able to refine the gold as “it” happens too. The tenderness makes me smile. Her optimism is quite a lovely thing to contemplate. And, as John has already noted, that manicure tells its own story of the beauty of feminine strength and grit. You treasure her well.