yesterday, i received a catalog in the mail, its cover splashed with a single photo of dark purple lilacs. i thought the arrival of that catalog could not have been more perfect. closing my eyes, i could almost smell the unmistakable fragrance, as real as it was in my childhood backyard.
1927 family portrait: mom, grandma and grandpa
my mom adored her lilacs. she maintained three huge, stately bushes in our suburban heaven. every spring, when the lilacs bloomed, i found her near them. hovering and, what i perceived as, hugging them (well, i said, that’s what it looked like to me). let’s just say we were both elated to stand in the bushes’ presence.
mom would strategically clip lilacs from each cherished bush, and we’d inhale their sweetness as we carried them into the house. choosing just the right vase, she’d skillfully arrange them. then, stand back with a tilted head to assess her handiwork. finally, she’d look back at me and say, what do you think? i’d enthusiastically nod my head in approval. yay!
today marks what would have been my mom’s 90th birthday. even as a writer, i’m at a loss to articulate how much i miss her. what i can say is that my memories of her and of our adventures together are even more vivid, more deeply etched as the days go by. yeah, that could just be my advancing age, but that’s another story entirely.
so, here’s to you, little bird. may today—and every day—be carefree. i expect you and daddy will be gliding across that dance floor tonight. love you forever.