There are many kinds of orchids, but the one that holds special meaning to me and my siblings is called Sanggumay (Dendrobium anosmum Lindley 1845, of family Orchidaceae), Purple Rain in English.
Sanggumay is how we call it in our country. This epiphytic growing orchid is native to Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. Its flowers, each measuring 8 cm with mauve to purple petals, are borne on leafless stems. It is fragrant, with raspberry-like scent.
My sister, Aie, who now lives in our ancestral home, says Sanggumay was planted in our backyard by our late mom years ago. She loved the color purple, which was probably why she took a liking to this beautiful flower.
But even now that mom’s gone, the Sanggumay continues to bloom every year—the flowers are at their best on her death anniversary.
Mom’s death anniversary is moveable. She died on a Good Friday (April 18) 15 years ago, but my siblings and I decided to commemorate her last day with us every Easter, whatever date it may fall on.
And this is what’s amazing about Mom’s Sanggumay—it blooms in full splendor every Easter, as though celebrating with us the risen Lord and our Mom’s life that now flourishes without end in His holy presence.
Easter celebration is often symbolized by colorful eggs, food, and fellowship in churches all over the country. Yes, we had all those, too, but in our heart of hearts, Easter is about the resurrection of the perfect Man who died for our sins so that we, too, may have the privilege of rising up to heaven when our life on earth ends.
What better time to remember our mom, who served God all her life in various roles, than on Resurrection Day?
And what grace can we ever ask for, other than to see and smell the Sanggumay on Easter in gay profusion, like refreshing drops of purple rain?