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F, Forget-me-not

F, Forget-me-not
ne m'oubliez pas

F is a seriously fabulous letter, just look at this list of unusual words beginning with F.  No wonder I was flummoxed by word choice for today’s A to Z Challenge. Perhaps, I fantasized late into E-evening, I’d impress by throwing in a few of these special-occasion words, like forficulate (like scissors), or this doozy: floccinaucinihilipilification (setting at little or no value), but quickly realized: no-one appreciates a flexiloquent fabulist intent on fluffed-up fustian.

flexiloquent (speaking ambiguously or using words of doubtful meaning)
fabulist (one who invents fables)
fustian (pretentious writing; inflated or nonsensical language)

In the end I decided on a light blog, filled with flummadiddle, a little F-for-funny, like my dad, with some mention of F-for-Fungus Features or Flibbertigibbet, his nicknames for a younger me. I’d get it done before breakfast.

But no.

A Fond Farewell

Last night, I had a full-on multi-sensory dream. I was mid-floor in an elevator with a sister (one of three with alternating ID), my mother and her mother, Nan. I was departing for somewhere unknown after a visit home. We were all trying not to cry. I hugged Nan with care as her neck didn’t quite bend at the angle necessary for hugging. I literally held her fine bones, her fragile carriage, felt her skin move over her thinness. She was chalky-soft and lovely. “I love you,” we all said, multiple times. Awake . . . that was it. But I felt I’d just hugged my grandmother, and what was that . . . smell? Talcum powder scented my pillow.

By lunch time, I was still fretting over F-words. Forget-me-not, I heard. Okay, I didn’t hear it, it scrolled across my cortex like a CNN feed. But I didn’t want to write about ‘forget-me-not’ – kinda froofy if you ask me. Once the sun was up in Australia, I skyped Mum and asked if Nan smelt like talcum powder. Yes, she said, distinctly so. You might accuse me of being filiopietistic (of or relating to an often excessive veneration of ancestors or tradition), but that settled it. F, for today’s purposes, is for ‘forget-me-not’.

Things I Don't Know that I Need to Know

There’s ‘forget me not,’ the sentiment, which is … pretty straight forward.  And forget-me-not’s, the flowers. Those pretty blue flowers with the yellow burst in the center –  I’ve seen them drape from flower beds and pots. Thoreau thought them beautiful ‘for being small and unpretending.’ Interestingly, Google tells me that in April of 1999, the forget-me-not flower was adopted as the official flower for Grandparents Day (September 13 in 2015). Huh. September was chosen to signify the ‘autumn years’ of life. I didn’t know there was a Grandparent’s Day. It even has its own website, forget-me-not’s front and center. All information I don’t know that I need.

I didn’t know this either: The idea for Grandparents Day came from West Virginia’s Marian McQuade, elder-care worker, mother to fifteen, and grandmother to forty. The United States Congress passed legislation in 1978, and President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation stating the the first Sunday after Labor Day was to be National Grandparents Day. 

So I’m not sure – have I chosen wisely? Fulfilled my family duty?
Floriferous thoughts? Or fiddle-faddle from a head filled with floccose fairy floss?

floriferous (bearing flowers)
floccose (woolly)


© Robyn T. Murphy

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