Where There’s Hope


Daffodils are one of the icons of Spring. Sitting at my mother’s bedside in the nursing home where she lay motionless, I gently whispered in her ear yesterday that Spring is on it’s way. I told her about the first daffodils of the year beginning to peep their heads above the freezing ground. On hearing this news, my mother opened her eyes and rewarded me with a huge smile.

This conversation brought me back to a time when I was in a little hospital room in the UK, recovering from major surgery. My husband had returned to Ireland to sort out a business problem leaving me to fend for myself for a couple of days. Being in hospital was bad enough but being far away from home meant that I had no visitors. My beacon of hope during that time, was a huge bunch of daffodils in the corner of my room. They had been given to me by a doctor from a nearby hospital whom I’d never met but who I knew to be an old school friend of my husband. When he heard news of my operation, he picked the daffodils for me from his garden to brighten up my stay in hospital. I’ll never forget this kind gesture. Those flowers represented a world with which I was familiar, unlike the lonely surroundings in which I found myself at that time.

My mother has always loved garden flowers and although now severely disabled, she welcomes any opportunity to be taken outside in her wheelchair. We made a pact yesterday to mount an expedition outdoors as soon as the first flowers of Spring appear.

Where there’s life, there’s hope and where’s there’s hope, there’s life.

8 Responses to Where There’s Hope

  1. Ian says:

    I went to speak at a school this morning and noticed lots of new growth in the flower beds at the door – it was a great lift!

  2. Grannymar says:

    The sight of the first Daffodils always warms my heart.

  3. Baino says:

    Remarkable Steph, Daffodils have always been my mother’s favourite. She’s now long gone but I have a wonderful photo of her on a return trip to England literally walking through a field of wild daffs. They’re the symbol of the Cancer Council out here and Daffodil Day one of their big fundraisers. I’m glad you brought a smile to your mum’s face.

  4. Steph says:

    Thanks Ian, Grannymar and Baino. Your comments have warmed my heart on a day that’s been full of hope with Obama’s inauguration.

    There are two topics of conversation guaranteed to make my Mum smile – 1) anything that grows and 2) anything to do with her grandchildren (including how much they’ve grown). Even when she’s at her lowest ebb, hearing a story about the latest antics of one of her grandchildren will generally produce a twinkle in her eye. Her biggest joy of all is to be wheeled out into the sunshine (when she’s well enough) to feel the sun on her face and to listen to the birds singing. It really is the simple pleasures in life that mean so much when all else has been denied.

  5. My mother loved daffodils …. I have planted hundreds of them around my place in her memory. She would have loved them.

  6. Steph says:

    Cheers! Paddy

    It seems daffodils evoke memories for everyone. No wonder Daffodil Day (March 20th) is such a success every year. With our daffodils appearing earlier and earlier , I presume they may have to change the date at some stage.

  7. annb says:

    When Rory was born – he spent 3months in Crumlin hospital – we moved to Dublin with our then 2 yr old to be with him. My mum, at a loss for a way to help us planted daffodil bulbs in our garden so that he could witness them during his first spring. When they reappear every year it brings such joy to all our hearts , as we count our blessings for another spring together.

  8. Steph says:

    annb – that’s a lovely story. Your mum sounds like a gem. And what a brilliant granny!

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