Mum loved Spring: the warming of the earth, how green crept over the land and daffodils nodded their cheerful heads in the chilly winds. She was the first to point out the return of the robins, and she always had a garden with both flowers and vegetables. Her yard always had a lilac tree growing quietly in a corner, waiting to surprise everyone with its gorgeous purple flowers and lush green leaves. Mum’s poetry reflected her deep appreciation of the beauty she found in the world around her. So this spring, in honor of my mother’s birthday and Mother’s day, I planted a lilac tree in my back yard, and I am posting one of her poems.
The Ghost of the Lilac Path
by Margaret Catherine Maclean Rayfuse Jones
(May 7, 1929 – March 20, 2000)
In springtime, when the frail, grey rain
Mists on the lilac buds again,
And perfumed dimly, gathers and slips
Softly, down from the curled leaf tips
She is still and sleeping underground
Beneath its quiet, quiet sound.
As May grows late, and showers toss
White stars from the lilac cones across
Her grave, and anon the wild wind blanches
The dusky, twisted lilac branches
With moonlight like a sudden laugh
She’s dancing in the pool-gemmed path.
aunts, children, daughter-in-law, dedication, example, foster parents, friends, friendship, grandmother, guilt, hard work, Love, mistakes, Mother, Mother's Day, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, sisters, women
Mother’s Day is always a tough day to get through. It’s kind of like going to a funeral, where you talk about all the wonderful qualities this person had but ignore all the bad or negative things about them. People get up in church and talk about the ideal mother and how wonderful their mother is or was. Meanwhile all the mothers in the audience are filled with guilt over all the mistakes they made with their kids. I think about the times I yelled at my kids, or ignored them, or spoiled them, or punished them unjustly. It doesn’t help that my first Mother’s day was met with empty arms and tears, or that my mother had a lot of problems. Also, my heart goes out to those wonderful women who yearn for motherhood but never got to experience it. This a particularly tough day for them. So, should I boycott Mother’s Day? On further reflection, I think I would be very ungrateful if I didn’t pay tribute to the mother-figures in my life. I have had so many women who have touched my life for good. So… Thank you to my mom who gave me creativity. Thank you to my grandmother, for all those letters, books, and love she sent to me. Thank you to my aunts, whose love buoyed us up through tough times. Thank you to the women who cared for us at critical times in our lives. Thank you to my dear foster mother who gave me a wonderful example of the joy that comes from hard work, dedication, and love. Thank you to all the women who have befriended me throughout the years as my husband and I moved from place to place. Thank you to my dear friend, Mary Jane, whose thirteen years of friendship will always be remembered. Thank you to my mother-in-law, who gave me such a wonderful husband. Thank you to my sisters and sisters-in-law, who I love so much, whose friendship is dearer than any treasure. Thank you to my children, who have given me such joy. Lastly, thank you to my daughter-in-law, who is such a good mom to my grandson. Happy Mother’s day to all the women who have shone like stars during my life’s journey. I love you.