April 1997

“Dandelions,” Ensign, Apr. 1997, 63


I remember Mother’s Days of years past, when, as a curly headed youngster, I gathered clusters of bright yellow dandelions to give to Mom. Trying not to lose a single one, I would secure the long green stems between my chubby fingers and warm palms—innocently strangling the life out of the bouquet long before I entered the house.

Once inside, I would force the dandelions into a small paper cup of water. Those wilted weeds looked beautifully arranged to my young eyes.

Securing this “creation” in hand, I would walk carefully to where Mom was working in the house, touch her gently on the sleeve, and say, “Here, Mom, I made these for you.”

Although those once-bright blooms were by now sagging and slipping over the edge of the bent paper cup, Mom would take the dandelions in one hand and snuggle me to her with her other strong arm, and we would say “I love yous” to each other. Oh, those were warm, secure times!

But I grew up. Instead of dandelions for Mom on Mother’s Day, I went to the big department stores, where I searched for something which could express what I felt inside for Mom but which I was too grown up to say.

How could a card or a bottle of perfume possibly reach around her rounded, tired, eighteen-hour-a-day shoulders and collect all of her in an embrace—an embrace of the love I felt for her?

I wish Mom were here today. I would pick her the biggest bunch of dandelions my thirty-year-old hands could hold. I would put them in a paper cup, touch her on the arm as she dozed in the rocker, and say, “Here, Mom, I love you.”

For Mother’s Day this year I would like dandelions. Dandelions in a bent paper cup.

  • Ja Net Watkins is a Primary worker in the Zionsville Ward, Indianapolis Indiana North Stake.

Photo by Jerry Garns