As Mother’s Day approaches, we want to honor you. Whatever name you go by, you have shaped our family in ways you may never know. Some of you are still with us, and some are gone, but the memories you gave us will live on forever. You are in the smell of fresh biscuits, a reminder of your early morning devotion as you rolled and cut out dough while the rest of the house slept. We hear your voice and laughter as we rock our little ones and read the same books you read to us — books with our names inscribed in the front cover in your handwriting and dried flowers still pressed between the pages. You cultivated in us a passion for words, reading, and learning. You prayed for us, sang to us, and helped us grow in our faith. We see you in the pictures with our sisters, playing “wedding” in your nightgowns. Years later, when we walked down the aisle, we felt you in the tears that fell down our cheeks as we held onto the handkerchief you carried in your wedding.
Your timeless style continues to inspire a generation — you always knew how to accessorize perfectly.
You taught us to wear color close to our face and always put on lipstick, “because you never know who you will run into in the grocery store.” You showed us how our Easter frock should match our hat and coordinate with our shoes, purse, and gloves. You made sure we knew we were never to wear white after Labor Day or linen before Easter. Riding to church in our Sunday best in your “fancy car with all the buttons” was a treat, and we always wanted to sneak a peek at your jewelry. You exemplified style and poise. And you are just as elegant now as you have always been.
You lived in a different era, an era without the distractions of social media and the fast-paced, instant-gratification world we live in now. You excelled at being present. You took the time to teach us new things. You were busy, but we never felt unwelcome or ignored, or like a distraction — you made us feel loved, cherished, and valued. Your smile and laughter are timeless. We see you in the faces of our parents, aunts and uncles, sons, and daughters.
We may have inherited your heirlooms, but your legacy far exceeds material possessions. We wish we could hold the hand that stitched the quilt that lies on our son’s bed and painstakingly sewed the lace on the flower girl dress that hangs in our daughter’s closet. You never bragged about your talents, but they were not lacking. Was there anything you couldn’t do? You taught us how to host a party, decorate, plant a garden, and thread a needle. Your attention to detail was amazing and your words of wisdom were plenty. And when words weren’t enough, you always had food — from cookies and punch to fried chicken and tea so sweet it made your teeth hurt. You taught us how to be the “hostess with the most” whether you were setting out fine china for a home cooked meal or swapping store bought goodies into a different dish. (Sorry for telling the secret!)
As children, you were ‘just’ our grandmothers, but as adults and moms, we see you as the strong women you were and are.
The hardships and struggles you faced were just as real as the feelings we face as moms today. You lost parents, husbands, or children, and you survived with grace and dignity. You were the women who were blazing new trails — some of you were the first in your family to graduate from college, you were homemakers, teachers, nurses, business owners, and devoted wives and mothers. You generously gave of your resources whenever anyone had a need, but you also taught us to be frugal, save for a rainy day, re-use our Ziploc bags and re-freeze our bottled water. You were faithful to God and your families. You showed us how to work hard, laugh at ourselves, and “make it work.” We will never forget your stories that made us laugh so hard we cried. Thank you for being both a grandmother and a friend.
Dear grandmothers, you have passed on more than genes. You have passed on traditions that will continue for generations to come. When we were children, we left our fingerprints on your windows, but you have left your handprints forever on our hearts. We love you. Happy Mother’s Day!