by Cindy Hester
Every time I see beautiful flowers I think of my grandmother. She had the most incredible gift. As a child I remember sitting around the breakfast table sipping coffee (more cream than coffee) and learning gardening tips from Dewey Compton on the radio. My grandmother always had her pen and notebook in hand fervently recording every word. She had a God-given talent of successfully using these tips in her garden and making it seem deceptively simple.
Her ability to graft and bud plants especially amazed me. Often passersby would stop to take pictures or to ask if they could pick a bouquet from her garden. Miss Clara (Maw Maw Moore to us kids) would stop whatever she was doing to put together a unique bouquet, taking special care to wrap the stems in a wet paper towel to keep the flowers fresh until they could be put into water. Rarely was the time we left her home without a bouquet or a cutting from her flower garden.
She often used this talent to bless others. She loved sharing her home-grown, hand-picked bouquets to lighten the spirits of those in the community who were sick or who had lost a loved one. My grandfather ministered to so many as a friend and pastor. To this day I can close my eyes and see him leaving home with a bouquet of my grandmother’s flowers in one hand and his Bible in another going to visit someone in need of encouragement. Many times I would be playing in the front yard of their home, and a couple would pull into the driveway with a marriage license wanting my grandfather to perform their marriage ceremony. While my grandfather counseled with the couple, my grandmother would go mix up a cake, get out her best lace tablecloth, and go out to her garden to cut fresh flowers for decorating the living and dining room for the ceremony.
Thinking back, I believe these flowers were an outpouring of Clara Moore’s soul. Their beauty and splendor represented her character. Although an humble person who preferred remaining in the background, her quiet dignity and the sweet fragrance of her character created a beautiful atmosphere. Like her colorful bouquets, she silently commanded the respect and admiration of anyone blessed to be in her presence. Today I saw a rose, and for a brief moment she was there.