Sweeter than the Roses
Covered all over from head to toe
Covered all over with Sweet Violets"
I cannot hear this song, or smell the sweet scent of violets without thinking of my mother. Violets were her special symbol, chosen when she was a young girl. They were her Young Women's flower and painted on delicate china cups and saucers stored lovingly in her cedar chest with her wedding gown and treasures.
She was a pretty child and the darling of her family; the lone girl in a pack of boisterous brothers who alternately spoiled her or teased her mercilessly. And boy could they tease!
When I visited my grandparents I spent many sunny hours playing under a tree in the backyard, or on the upstairs landing on rainy days. My favorite game at the time was to imagine that my mother was still a little girl, just my age, and that we were friends. We played for hours, her in an old-fashioned dress from the 30's and me in shorts and a tee-shirt, reading old issues of Children's Friend and designing our dream houses with pictures cut from Better Homes and Gardens. Sometimes she watched me make Barbie clothes from the bag of sewing scraps that Grandma saved for me. She only watched...because Mom could not sew worth a lick!
My grown-up mom was not on friendly terms with her old sewing machine. Any sewing project made her so stressed-out that we kids used to hide whenever she put in a zipper! It's kind of funny, because her mother made beautiful gowns for antique porcelain dolls and I've made quilts most of my life. I guess some things skip a generation.
I have many warm memories of my mother, but I always like to think of her as the small girl whose unsteady little legs carried her and her tea set into Grandma's living room. And that memory is always accompanied by the scent of violets.
I wish to acknowledge my sister Lisa, who designed the little memory pages. She made each of the sisters a beautiful miniature scrapbook. So much love and effort was put into them. I will always treasure mine.