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For the past several years, someone has left flowers on my front porch steps on Mother’s Day.  Not bouquets in vases but flowers in pots, ready to be planted.  Different kinds each year, but always flowers.  I think it started the first Mother’s Day after Jonah went away.

This year on Mother’s Day I returned from visiting Jonah with my mom and saw the flowers there again, as always – a pot of bleeding hearts this time with a card from Boo, the handwriting unrecognizable (deliberately, I presume).

Always the flowers make my day.  A magician has come, I think to myself.  Someone who knows I drive to visit Jonah every Sunday.  Someone who wishes to remain anonymous…who knows my Mother’s Days are never all that happy since Jonah left, no matter what the day is like.

I used to think of all the possible magicians, trying to identify who in my life could possibly be that dedicated to this.  To me.  Since the flowers started coming, they have never stopped.  Year after year – for 6 or 7 years now without fail, I am visited by a magician who places flowers on my steps and slips away.  This simple, loving, ever-faithful gesture touches my heart more than I can say.

Of course I plant the flowers every year, usually a week or so after I get them.  I like to keep them inside for a while first, so I can look at them, smile, and think about whomever gave them to me – enjoying the mystery of the magician’s annual appearance.

This year, it finally occurred to me: the magician probably reads my blog.  How else would they be certain I’m not home when they arrive every Mother’s Day?  How else would they know I call Jonah Boo? After all, I rarely do so outside this blog.  The already small field of possible magicians narrows.  But I respect their desire to remain anonymous, and I do not intend to ferret them out.

Every year, though, I find myself wishing I could thank the magician.  And now that I am pretty sure they read this blog, I can.

In a “cosmic coincidence” kind of way, this is remarkably similar to a fictional scenario I love and have read many, many times:  the story of Sara Crewe, my all-time favorite heroine in my all-time favorite book, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

At one point in our heroine’s story, she is poor, hungry and living in the dingy attic of a fancy girls’ boarding school.  One day she wakes up to find the attic suddenly and inexplicably transformed with little folding chairs, blankets and pillows, books, steaming tea and little sandwiches set up on a little table, a fire in the long-unused fireplace, and beautiful tapestries on the walls.  Sara is astounded.

Every day the magician, for that is what she calls him, brings more and more little pleasant things to make her happy.  She loves the magic of it and abandons herself happily to the mystery as well, enjoying all that is brought to make her sorrow-filled servant life happier.  But one thing nags at her, and she relates this to Becky, her fellow scullery maid:

“I can’t help thinking about my friend,” Sara explained. “If he wants to keep himself a secret, it would be rude to try and find out who he is. But I do so want him to know how thankful I am to him—and how happy he has made me. Anyone who is kind wants to know when people have been made happy. They care for that more than for being thanked. I wish—I do wish—”

She stopped short because her eyes at that instant fell upon something standing on a table in a corner. It was something she had found in the room when she came up to it only two days before. It was a little writing-case fitted with paper and envelopes and pens and ink.

“Oh,” she exclaimed, “why did I not think of that before?”

She rose and went to the corner and brought the case back to the fire.

“I can write to him,” she said joyfully, “and leave it on the table. Then perhaps the person who takes the things away will take it, too. I won’t ask him anything. He won’t mind my thanking him, I feel sure.”

So she wrote a note. This is what she said:

I hope you will not think it is impolite that I should write this note to you when you wish to keep yourself a secret. Please believe I do not mean to be impolite or try to find out anything at all; only I want to thank you for being so kind to me—so heavenly kind—and making everything like a fairy story. I am so grateful to you, and I am so happy—I used to be so lonely and cold and hungry, and now—oh, just think what you have done for me! Please let me say just these words. It seems as if I OUGHT to say them. THANK you—THANK you—THANK you!

THE LITTLE GIRL IN THE ATTIC.

The next morning she left this on the little table, and in the evening it had been taken away with the other things; so she knew the Magician had received it, and she was happier for the thought.

And so, just like Sara, I get to say:

Thank you for being so kind to me—so heavenly kind—and making everything like a fairy story.  THANK you—THANK you—THANK you!

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Today, Jonah brought home some Mother’s Day presents he’d made for me at school (3 different cards/posters) and a pink, stapled package.  Inside the package was a pretty orange geranium (?) in a little ceramic pot- it made me grin.  Thank you, Wildwood.  🙂

Then when I got home to my apartment, M told me a box had come for me from 1-800-flowers. I could tell it wasn’t from him because he was just as curious as I was.   A Mother’s Day gift, I thought with a smile.  Likely from my mom, or my dad – or even Andy, even though he’d already told me that Jonah’s gifts from school were all I was getting for Mother’s Day. 

 

I opened the pretty multi-colored bouquet and arranged the flowers in the vase they came in, and then I found the note:

Dear Momma,

Thank you for all that you do for me.  Thank you for train rides, moneycoin, waterfalls, trips to Grandma’s, peanutbutterrolls and too many other great things you do for me (and with me) to mention!  You are the best momma any kid could ask for and I love you soooo much! All done.

– Love, Jonah Boo


After I stopped crying my happy tears, I tried to figure out who could have sent it.  Who knows my address now?  Who has the sense of humor to put “all done” at the end of the card?  Who did this wonderful thing for me?  Andy says it wasn’t him.  M denies it, as does D, who watches him most.  And neither my mom nor my dad would write that.  My friends?  K or H?  P or Mx?  Maybe.  Martie?  Someone from 4 Winds?  from Wildwood?  Someone from work?  Someone I used to work with? A random reader? Hmmmmmm.

I kind of want to know who did this and I kind of want to believe in the mystery of it – to allow it to be from Jonah – to give it his voice, to have it be like Santa Claus is when you’re a child…or something from an elf, a faerie.  Or from one of my very best friends who’ve died – Gina, or Jennifer-Sanx.  Something impossible, yet true.  It’s all so right up my alley.

In one of my favorite children’s books, poor protagonist Sara Crewe receives gifts and has no idea where they came from.  Every day new gifts appear to help her make it through desperate, lonely days.  She doesn’t wish to force the identity of the giver if that person wishes to keep him/herself a secret, but she yearns to thank her benefactor.  So she gets the idea one day to write the person a letter and leave it for the next time s/he came.  The letter says, in part,

“I want to thank you for being so kind to me – so heavenly kind – and making everything like a fairy story.  I am so grateful to you, and I am so happy…”

Like Sara Crewe, I say thank you.  Somehow I suspect you’re reading this, whoever you are, and I want you to know you have made my day.  Thank you!!!

…and you’re welcome, Jonah.   You’re my precious little son and I’ll always love you, no matter what.

All done.

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