Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Pansy Connection

"Pansies" by bbrunophotography
My mother loved pansies. She was never one to tend a garden, and houseplants ran for their lives when she even glanced their way in a nursery. Mama would lovingly overwater, thinking she was doing them a favor and plants usually repaid her efforts by dying within a month. 

The irony is that she grew a beautiful African violet and wonder of wonders, it thrived for a couple of years. One summer morning she decided that it needed more light, so she moved it from its home on a shelf to a sunny windowsill that received the full August blast starting mid-morning every day. 

I remember Mama's expression when she noticed her violet sprawled like a lifeless spider in its pretty ceramic pot. "Guess my green thumb got up and left," she said.

I don't remember her buying another houseplant after that. But I do recall the day she brought home pansies. Artificial silk pansies in a basket filled with fake soil. I secretly snickered at her new "houseplant" as she hung it in a corner of the living room where it received plenty of morning light.

My mom was not a quitter; she just knew when to move on. I admired that in her, and I admire it even more, now that I've had years to absorb all the lessons I gained from having her in my life. She and Daddy raised six babies who have had their share of ups and downs, but who landed in good places with their faith intact. 

I think of my mom whenever I see a pansy--can't help it.  This time of year, I also remember all the hustle-bustle of Christmas and the anticipation that leapt out of her big brown eyes as she watched each of us tear into our gifts. Most of all, I remember her sweet, gentle spirit and the way she tenderly and quietly tended to each of us. A little water here, a lot of light there, and always, always--prayers for us even when we didn't realize she was talking with God on our behalf. 

And now I find myself drawn to pansies. I pray for my own grown children and grandchildren. I try to stay away from the "watering" can and let God work in their lives without my advice. Mostly I just love them and let Him grow them in that special way only He can do.


  1. You mom was smart. I switched over to fake house plants many years ago :-)


  2. Ron, it sure worked for her! She dusted her plants and was happy as could be.:)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Beautiful post! I'm like your mom, can't grow a thing. So why do I try so hard with my kids? Thanks for reminding me that the job is HIS.

  4. Thank you, Tammy. I think we parents have all felt this way at one time or another. So glad you stopped by!

  5. Lovely post Bonnie - combining memories of your mom with your own mothering resolutions. I'm with you in the last paragraph.


So glad you stopped by!