To most people, yellow daffodils, root beer floats and “Stan the Man” have absolutely no connection and would be hard pressed to find one. I, on the other hand, have them inextricably linked in my mind and memories; these were 3 of my Mom’s favorite things and I will forever think of her when any of them are mentioned. This was the case the other day when I made a routine stop by my local Kroger to pick up an item or 2. As I entered the store, there they were — row upon row of beautiful yellow daffodils; ironically the exact kind I tried to find for Mom just before she died 3 years ago but could not. I won’t say that they have never carried them, but I don’t usually see them; I presume that they just sell out before I get to see them. This day, however was different — and yes, I stopped a moment and enjoyed their fragrance and beauty. I thoroughly enjoy moments like this because they bring back a flood of good memories of my Mom. Some would say that it was sad or that it should bring back the sorrow, but not me. To me the daffodils are just a symbol of the good I saw in her and in our relationship — a relationship not unlike most — we had good and bad times. I choose to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Now, root beer floats and Stan the Man are a little more elusive — until I see floats on a menu or it is baseball season. The menu connections is pretty straightforward, but perhaps the “Stan the Man” reference is not. “Stan the Man” Musial was my Mom’s absolute favorite baseball player growing up; he was with the St. Louis Cardinals and is an iconic legend in baseball history. We live within a few hours of St. Louis, so we hear A LOT about the Cardinals and I have several friends that eat sleep and breathe Cardinal baseball. This year is no different — and of course, all the talk brings me back to my Mom. I do have to chuckle a little every time I think about her and the Cardinals; most of her family (my son included) are diehard Cubs fans. Again, if you don’t know, they are MAJOR rivals. While I too lean towards the Cubs I must admit that I do pull for the Cardinals when they play — if for no other reason than to be connected to my Mom. As I stated before — these are good types of connections.
While I am saddened at not having had my Mom for the last 3 years, I am choosing to focus on the good things we did share. If it were not for her I would not be able to have a unique link between yellow daffodils, root beer floats and Stan the Man. I like having something a little unusual to remind me of her — it is like “our little secret” and now you have a glimpse into that as well. Mom was not perfect, but neither am I and that was reflected in our lives. Relationships are like that — you take the good with the bad and mix in some of the mundane; the outcome is the starting point. From there only you can choose the journey; only you can decide which pieces deserve your focus and which ones do not. I am not saying that everything else can be ignored or discounted, but I am saying that your attitude and reactions to things are a choice. I choose to think about my Mom holding yellow daffodils while eating a root beer float at a Cardinals game with Stan the Man at the plate. Just that picture alone brings a smile to my face — I like that. Today I smile!
Let’s see what’s next…Thanks for reading!