When my father passed away, my mother had the mammoth responsibility of not only raising three young children by herself, but also taking care of a monster yard. We lived up against the mountain and every weed known to man (it seemed...) ended up at our house.
My mom battled. Boy, did she battle! She valiantly fought the forces of mother nature with as much strength as could be contained in all of her five feet, zero inches. She used, as her weapons, plants that were as tough as she was. She loved iris flowers, mostly because they came back year after year and if you let them, they'll multiply and become even more abundant year after year.
Mom's gone. New neighbors live in the house we called home for almost four decades. And because her iris plants were so hearty, our new neighbors asked if we wanted some of the flowers to transplant to our yard.
That was last year. This is the time of year they bloom and they're beautiful.
One of my childhood memories is each spring on Memorial Day my mom went to the yard and cut several iris flowers. We had a rainbow of colors back then. We'd take them with us to my father's grave and leave them there as a reminder of what he meant to all of us. Since my mother knew him the best, it meant the most to her. And, if conditions were right, we'd take along some snowball blooms as well.
I don't know if the flowers will make it this year. We're pretty sure the snowballs will be long gone come Memorial Day. Too bad. I'd love to decorate their graves with flowers from our yard, just as she did all those years. It's a tradition worth keeping.