“M is for the Million Things She Gave Me.”
It doesn’t matter where I live when May comes calling with colorful flowers and the newness of spring time, and the soon to be Mother’s Day celebration, I’m happily transported back to a small town in Michigan and a little white church on Main Street.
Although we lived in the city, each Mother’s Day weekend we’d make the trip to my grandparent’s home for the annual Mother and Daughter Banquet at the church where my mother, grandparents and their parents before them had attended.
My mother would bring a basket of spring flowers, either home grown or bought at the City Market, and colored ribbons with accessories. While grandmother prepared a covered dish, we’d make corsages for my great-grandmother, her twin sister, my grandmother, and one for my mother and a smaller one for me.
My youngest recollection of going to the little white church where all the tables were covered in nice cloths and spring violet plants was the age of 5, and I had a new pair of black paten leather shoes for the occasion. The women were so nice and laughed, complimented one another on their dresses, and especially on their covered dishes; as each lady made something she was most proud of to take to the banquet.
As I got older often my own church or community activities would require my participation in the city, but we always tried to make a trip to be with grandma for the banquet. My great-grandmother lived until I was into my 20’s and she attended as well. It made four generations and something I was proud to be part of. I had the song “M O T H E R” memorized by the time I was 8, and sung it with pride. Gifts wrapped so pretty were given to the oldest mother in attendance, and often that would be my great-grandmother, or she would get the gift as the oldest of four generations.
When I became the mother of a daughter, we often attended the same banquet when time allowed. At that time my great-grandmother was in her heavenly home, and now my grandmother was the oldest of four generations. I’ve attended various Mother and Daughter banquets over the years, and I’ve chaired many of them in my home church, however, there was something special about going to grandma’s knowing this was such an old tradition for so many years, before I was even around, that I’d try to make the trip with Mom and my daughter when possible.
The years progressed and catering replaced the wonderful covered dish dinners. I often ordered the corsages for all of us, and again recognition was given to four generations, and a nice plant to grandma. When she was in her late 80’s she decided to sell her house in the small town where she had always lived, and we had such great times at, and spent time in FL and MI.
In 1995 the day before the Mother and Daughter Banquet, Grandma quietly passed away at my parent’s home where she had been living, she was 91. It was Mother’s Day weekend. So many thought raced through my mind, and again we made the trip to the town where the little white church that meant so much over the years was located. In lieu of flowers we asked for donations to be given to the church, in memory of Grandma. Somehow I knew she would have wanted it that way.
Distance and family living in various states make it hard to get together for Mother’s Day now, but how I would enjoy a trip back, with Mom now 82, and my daughter and three young grandgals. I miss those years when the yummy covered dish dinners and little violet plants were so simple and nice, and whenever I hear the song “MOTHER,” memories come alive of a little white church where we enjoyed so many banquets together in celebration of Mother’s Day.
~ M O T H E R ~
M is for the million things she gave me,
O means only that she’s growing old.
T is for the tears she shed to save me,
H is for her heart of purest gold.
E is for her eyes of love-light shining,
R is right and right she’ll always be!
Put them all together they spell Mother,
the word that means the world to me.
By: Howard Johnson, 1915
~ Diane Dean White ~
Thelamb212 @ aol.com
Diane is a columnist, freelance writer and author of two books. She is married to Stephen and they reside on the Carolina Coast. They are the parents of three grown children and three grand gals. You may visit Diane’s website and see more
of her work at www.DianeDeanWhite.com
[ By: Diane Dean White Copyright © 2008 -- submitted by: Diane Dean White (Thelamb212 @ aol.com) ]
All Rights Reserved.