Monday, June 2, 2008

A Lesson from Grandma & Her Lilacs

I have always loved lilacs. I don't know too many women who don't. They smell heavenly and they are so delicate. Even the word "lilac" sounds pretty.

These past few weeks I have been enjoying my lilac bush beside my front patio. If the breeze is blowing just right the fragrance from it wafts in the front door. mmmmm.....

Of course, being the sentimental person that I am, it got me to thinking about my grandma and her wedding day. I had heard the story of Grandma and Grandpa's courtship & wedding day quite a few times during my childhood. I loved how they "met" through their letters and shared photographs. How he travelled to another province to meet her for the first time and how, the day of their wedding, she went out into the garden and made herself a huge bouquet of lilacs.

But it wasn't until I was writing our family's history a few years ago that she told me about something that happened years after their wedding.

Grandpa Klassen decided to surprise Grandma by having their black & white wedding portrait colour tinted and then give it to her as a gift for her birthday. Now apparently Grandpa wasn't much into surprises and definitely not the most sentimental man so Grandma was extremely touched by his gesture. As she opened her present and saw the portrait her heart sank... the colours were wrong! I guess since it was years later and, being a man, (sorry, but it's true) he didn't remember the details of the day all that well. On that day Grandma's dress was blue and the lilacs were white. Grandpa told the artist her dress was white and the lilacs were blue.

You know that Grandma never told him that he got it wrong. I can imagine her, putting on a wonderful performance... thanking him for his thoughtful gift and then proudly hanging the photo back on the wall.

There's such a valuable lesson in that, don't you think? We allow little things to become so major when we could just let them slide. We let one little thing pile on top of the next until it becomes a mountain when not one of them is really important. What is more important? The person we love or the fact that he never puts his dishes in the dishwasher or he missed the fact that you just got your hair done?

Thanks, Grandma, for all the wonderful stories you told me and lessons you taught me. Miss you.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that was touching even for me, being that Grandma's daughter.
I had forgot that story, even though I remember hearing it. And I sure love lilacs too.
Thanks for opening my memory box.

Doreen (Auntie Ruthie to you)

Esther said...

Teeears me up. Love it, Mom

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful...

Louise said...

Very sweet! My friend & I just walked through an older part of town the other day & commented 'what were we thinking?'... we are both building new houses and will miss the already developed landscape of trees, lilacs etc! But I will for sure plant one in my new yard :)

Craft Mum said...

Wow, Dawn, your writing sure is soul-food! I just read the last few posts, and am touched by your thoughts, observations and perspective. Thanks for sharing!