This year as I do every Mother’s Day I wore a red rose on the lapel of my jacket. I have done this every year since I was just a boy. This rose is sentimental due to the fact that it came from my grandfather’s rose bushes so I am paying tribute to her father as well. I have moved these rose bushes from house to house and they have somehow survived against all odds. I do not know what the exact name of these particular roses are, but they are incredible. The color is a beautiful deep red and the smell is out of this world. When I cut the grass in the backyard I can smell them as I walk by and I always think of my grandfather.
I always get interesting comments when I wear the red rose on Mother’s Day. Due to the time of year some people ask me if I went to prom? Yeah, right! I did not go in high school and do not see it happening at 55 either. Some are a little offended and say something like “ Hey it’s Mother’s Day – it’s not about you. You should take that off.” I have actually had that conversation in some form multiple times. However, the older people enjoy seeing the rose and always comment in a positive way. They like the nod to tradition from a younger generation.
The actual holiday began in 1904 and will mark it’s 100th anniversary this next year, and you have to believe that someone is going to capitalize on that. The wearing of the rose seems to be more of a southern tradition and I could not find out exactly when it started. A red rose signifies that your mother is alive and white that she has passed away. It is just another way to honor your mother on her special day. There was a time when every man wore a rose on that day, but like a lot of traditions it has gradually gone out of style.
When you stop and think about it there are not a lot of traditions left any more. They have gone the way of manners and etiquette. You simply have to sit in a restaurant and watch people to see how much things have changed. Those things make you more the butt of a joke then get you respect. No matter how much you complain and sound like someone’s grandfather I doubt things will change much in that area. As for me, I will continue to wear my rose every year, open the car door for my wife, make sure she is seated in a restaurant, and set the bar high for the young man who marries my daughter. After all that is the way my mother raised me.