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From the December 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal

ONE YEAR, INSTEAD OF BAKING ME A CAKE, my mother celebrated my Christmas Day birthday by giving me a pot of poinsettias. "Now we're not talking about age here," she said when she gave me the flower pot with its big red bow. "It isn't important how many times you've been around the sun while you ride on this planet. What's important—and what I love about you—is the same thing that makes these poinsettias beautiful."

Every year after that, my mother gave me a plant that bloomed in the winter, and we would have a cup of tea together, discussing the lessons about immortality that we could learn from gardens and flowers and blossoms. For instance, Mother said, a garden's design begins as an idea, and that idea never disappears although the flowers themselves may come and go. She said I was like that as God's child—a forever idea—and that she loved to think of me as a creation that had always existed in divine Mind, even before I appeared as her baby girl; and that I would continue to live in Mind, long after the body that people thought of as "Susan" was gone.

I cherished these special celebrations, times that reinforced my connection to my mother—and to God. But then my mother passed away. The winter holidays seemed empty without her, but I continued to place displays of potted poinsettias in front of my fireplace.

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