Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Growing Legacy

A tradition began generations ago. On Easter Sunday, my paternal grandfather, whom I called Papa, bought corsages for the two most important, most wonderful ladies in his life: his wife, and his young daughter Susan. For years and years, each wore a gorgeous corsage pinned to her dress come Easter Sunday morning....

Papa passed away when I was 5 or 6.

When I was 8 years old, the tradition was born anew. My father bought corsages for the two most important, most wonderful ladies in his life: his wife, and his young daughter Anne. "You make that flower look beautiful," he said as he pinned it on my dress.

"Easter" and "corsage" became synonymous in my mind. For nearly a quarter of a century, I have worn a corsage proudly pinned to my dress on Easter morning. One year, when I was in high school, my boyfriend also bought me a corsage to wear. What a dilemma - how would I ever wear two corsages from two very important men in my life? In a moment of inspiration (read: my mother's brilliant suggestion) I wore the one from my boyfriend tucked into the tails of my french braids; the flowers from my father, I wore in their usual location - closest to my heart.

Another year, when Jeff and I were newlyweds spending our first Easter as a married couple, we flew to California to be with Jeff's extended family. Although I was very excited to be with them, it was the first Easter I wouldn't spend with my own parents. I was sad and disappointed to realize that there would be no corsage that Easter - my father was some 3,000 miles away! Imagine, then, my complete surprise when there was a knock at the door where we were staying - with a delivery for me. The florist presented to me a beautiful lily corsage, compliments of my father.

This year, thinking about the upcoming holiday and the joy of the flowers on Easter, I suddenly realized - I was just about Aidan's age when my dad presented me with my first corsage...

I remember how proud, how special, how beautiful I felt as that 8 year old child, entrusted with a gorgeous bloom to wear at my breast. I knew in an instant that the tradition would continue... a boutineer. This year, I made boutineers for Aidan and for Leo. I chose roses, baby's breath, and fresh greens. Such joy I felt in selecting the flowers, reveling in the surprise, anticipating giving the flowers to my sons, making them feel - hopefully - as proud, as special, and as handsome as I had been made to feel.

From Papa to Daughter; from Sweet Dad to Daughter; from Mother to Son.
The legacy grows.

1 comment:

gthiele said...

Beautiful words and thoughts !!