My dear Mom always grew violets on her kitchen windowsill. She spent time each day
looking after the plants, watching them thrive and blossom. She tenderly cared for the delicate pink and purple flowers as surely as she nurtured my two sisters and me. I grew to love the flowers and respect the way Mom cared for them.
Mom also loved the sweet violets that grew in our back yard. As a small girl growing up in the 1950’s, it became a tradition for Mother’s Day that I would gather handfuls of violets and tie them into neat, small bundles with ribbons to present to my mother, my way of showing my love.
Years later, in May of 1967, I awaited the birth of my first baby, due around the third week of July. Mom intuitively knew that I was carrying a boy, in the same way that she also intuitively knew that a special bond already existed between my unborn child and me.
Mom surprised me with a blue baby blanket and a card that said, “On Your First Mother’s Day.” The card displayed a bundle of violets tied together with blue ribbon. Tiny clear beads, like morning dew, highlighted the varied shades of pink and purple flowers. A poignant reminder of Mom: the tender care, the nurturing love, and the endearing traditions that had brought me to that place in my life. I felt such a connection with Mom at that point in time. I tucked the card away in my cedar chest with my other treasured memories.
Two months later, my Mom left this world very suddenly, unexpectedly, just three weeks before my first son entered it. A devastating loss.
Years later, I opened my cedar chest and found Mom’s card. Tears sprang to my eyes as I looked at the violets; I felt a flood of memories and emotions wash over me. I framed the card and placed it beside my own violets on the windowsill.
My daughter now brings me violets that I place with the treasured card among my violets. Every May I also bring in sweet violets from the yard. Mom is never far from my thoughts; she remains in my heart. I believe that, although Mom is gone from this earthly world, her legacy of love remains. Henry Ward Beecher once said, “What the heart has once owned and had, it shall never lose.” I look at the violets, remember, and smile.
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