Brian Sirmans  

Daffodils in Bloom

I awoke to the sound of the phone ringing. It is 4:00 in the morning, I thought to myself. Who calls at 4:00 in the morning? It was Daddy, “Mammy’s gone. You need to get down here” is all he said. Still in my boxers and an old college shirt, I grabbed a pair of flip-flops and raced out the front door to my car. She only lived down the road, but I had to get to her. The morning was bitterly cold, as cold as it gets in South Georgia, and the sun had not even thought about peeking over the horizon. When I reached her little white farm house, I parked my car in the ditch and didn’t even shut the door.  No one else was in the yard, but light from Mammy’s bedroom pierced through the dark morning dew as I could faintly see my Papa’s silhouette pacing back and forth in the window.


As I rushed around the front of her house, memories flooded my mind. The fondest memory I have of my grandmother, whom we all called Mammy, is of her flowers. Mammy’s flowers were one of her most prized possessions, second only to her grandchildren. She pruned and nursed her beautiful blooms giving love and care to each individual blossom.


Her flowers usually sprang to life in early March and maintained their radiance until mid-June or, depending on the weather, early July. People frequently visited, and somehow the conversation always led Mammy’s friends to meander around her yard, allowing her to show off her perennials. “Mable, I don’t know how you do it,” friends would say. “I am just blessed” was always her humble response.


In January of 2008, Mammy had a stroke that left her confined to a wheelchair. No longer able to care for the beautiful trophies that she once was so proud of, Mammy was limited to viewing them from her large dining room window. Everyday, we would pick Mammy’s wheelchair up and carry her down into the dining room so that she could look out the window at her flowers.  We tried our best to take care of her precious jewels, but the flowers did not respond to us the way they did to her.


Mammy relished a small flower bed of daffodils just outside the dining room window. She loved the color yellow, and she adored the cup and saucer shape the small flowers made when they bloomed. As Mammy’s health faded, she longed to see her daffodils bloom one more time. However, she knew that would be impossible; it was just days after Christmas, and the flowers would not bloom until spring.


As I ran around the front of the house, I tripped and fell over a short piece of wood on the cold hard ground, jutting out of the darkness. Still in a daze, I hastily arose to a standing position and brushed off my clothes. I had to get into the house to see Mammy, but before I could rush in the back door I noticed something odd out of the corner of my eye. This was the end of January, on one of the coldest days of the year, and Mammy’s flower bed was covered in yellow blooms, like a bright ray of sunshine, from her daffodils. As I turned to walk into the house, I smiled and thought Mammy got to see her flowers bloom after all.