Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tradition passed down?

Well, it has been almost a year since I lost my Mother to pancreatic cancer. Hard to realize it has been that long cause some days, it seems like yesterday when she was here with us. It has taken us about that long to completely go through her things at her house. My son and wife have moved into her house so we have tried to get it cleared out, in the main rooms anyway. This last week, we finished one of the last rooms, her office.

It was a hard thing to do cause so much of her life was spent in that little room, tucked into the basement. She had a little business where she fixed wedding invitations with her dried flowers. It was in that room in the basement that she created and made her invitaions. She collected flowers everywhere. Even was known to stop on the side of the road to pick queen Anne`s lace. All of the grandchildren remember on trips with her, stopping to pick her pretty flowers. She would always carry a book in her car so she could press the flowers when she would find them.

She had one of her framed invitations in a little shop here in town and would get orders from time to time. Most of the time, it was word of mouth business that she got from repeat customers. Our friend who owns the shop , Village Press in Mountain Brook, called me the other day to let me know of a request she had. One of her customers had seen the invitation in her shop and wanted to order one. So, Patsy asked me if I would be interested in doing it. She knew that I had helped Mother in the past, especially when she was so sick and could no longer do it herself.

When we cleaned out Mother`s office, I brought another box of her things home. I have so many boxes already but there are just things that I cannot get rid of yet. The newest box, including the dried flowers that she had all pressed, ready to use, made it to my garage where I went through it and found spots for each thing. Tonight, after spending much time dreading it, I got it all out. Dreading is a strong word, so I guess I wasn`t really dreading as much as worried about how I would feel doing it. But I got it all out and got the flowers glued onto the invitation. Tomorrow, I will get it framed then delivered. As I was doing it, I couldn`t help but think how glad she would be that was attempting to carry on her tradition of doing this unique gift for soon to be brides. I was able to do it, not being sad, but just thankful. Thankful of having my Mother for all those years and thankful for her legacy that she left.

She started making these invitations in 1974, the year that I married, so you see, she had quite the collection of materials to use. I enjoyed doing this tonight and was grateful that I had been given the opportunity all those times, to watch her as she worked, to help her get her flowers and to learn her skill. But most of all, it made me feel a bit closer to her, knowing we shared this tradition, this love of pressed flowers.

This was the one she had done years ago, on display at Village Press.

This is the one I did tonight for my first order! I will staple it into the frame tomorrow. I will be thinking now, if this is something that I might be able to do and take over the tradition.....

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