I grew up in Singapore within the warm embrace of flowers. My grandmother’s name was Rose, and just like the flower, she was beauty and grace. She named our house ‘Rose Ville’, and what a fitting name it was! The garden was filled with flowers and plants of various colours and types, and every day, my grandmother would tend to the garden as she would a child – lovingly and patiently. I remember rolling on the grass and breathing in the scent of the blossoming flowers as my grandmother worked. I remember too the smell of roses scattered on top of her coffin as I said my final goodbyes. In my mind, roses will always be a gentle reminder of her dedication and grace.
Flowers are special creatures. They carry with them the memory of something or someone special. Deeply imprinted in my mind is the image of my mother coming home after a long day of work, clutching a huge bouquet of roses for my grandmother for Mother’s Day. ‘Happy Mother’s Day, Ma. I got this from a florist near me’, she said, somewhat sheepishly. Our family was unused to extravagant displays of affection. ‘Why did you buy this, it will only die!’, my grandmother scolded in Cantonese, but I distinctly remembered her flustered smile and the way her fingers slowly caressed the flowers. As a kid observing this strange proceeding from behind the wall, I was enlightened – ah, Mother’s Day is a time of gifting flowers to your mother! I felt slightly awkward that I had not realised that earlier and crept up the stairs to feign sleep in bed.Continue reading