Buttercups have always been special to me and my dad. When he and my mom were dating, I was about 3 years old. They used to take me on picnics with them, and whenever we found buttercups, Dad and I picked them together.
It was over a crumpled bouquet of buttercups that I asked him if I could call him “Daddy.” He smiled at me and said that, yes, I certainly could. Months later, on December 27, 1955, I stood with my mom and new dad as they got married in the front room of Dad’s parents’ home.
To be honest, I was far more interested in the wedding cake than the wedding, but I was glad to have my new dad. Mom smiled wider than I had seen in a long time, and my new grandparents smiled as well. Dad leaned down to me and said, “Janie Lou, you are my little girl now.” I was very happy.
Years went by. When we moved into our new house in Wolfeboro, NH, Dad mowed the lawn except for one patch of bright yellow buttercups. He said that they always reminded him of me, and, up to the very last time he mowed the lawn in 2015, he left that patch of flowers alone.
Just the other day I was walking around our house to the back yard. As usual, it was filled with grass, weeds, purple violets, dandelions—and, in one little patch of grass, a single bright yellow buttercup.
I stopped in my tracks, my mind racing back to that first buttercup I picked with my dad so many years ago. Although there were tears in my eyes, I was smiling. I looked at the buttercup, and then up to the sky and said, “Thanks, Dad. I will always remember.”