Mom passed away 30 years ago. Every year on Mother’s Day I think of her and the lilacs that she enjoyed. Lilacs and Roses were her favorite flowers, but on Mother’s Day daddy would buy her hyacinths which looked exactly like the lilacs she loved. And on more than one occasion my sister and I would snip off Lilacs off neighbors bushes and present them to her.
Even after she left this beautiful world, whenever I see the hyacinths in the stores or smell the lilacs in my own backyard she is with me once again. My mind would remember all those past Mother’s Days and the mother that I loved and miss today.
To me, my sister and my brother, she was beautiful, loving, funny and as I am still learning to this day, a very strong and brave lady.
One story that was just told me to recently happened when my mother was around 19 and working at an American POW camp. It was towards the end of the WWII. The camp that she was working in was being bombarded and in the midst of the bombing one of the Americans were injured and could not make it the shelter. So my mother went out and dragged him to safety, most likely saving his life.
It was not my mother who told this story, but my father, and although it would have made a very romantic ending of the story, it was not my dad, whom she saved.
I never knew this part of my mother. I knew as a young girl she was recruited to work in the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM, the League of German Girls) the girls version of the Hitler Youth and eventually went on to the Red Cross and sent to work at the POW camp, where I presume this is where she first learned to speak English. She never once mentioned about saving the life of this soldier and only spoke once about working at the POW camp.
From all the memories and stories about my mom, this story is one of many I treasure because it allows me a glimpse into a part of mother’s life that I never knew.
Whenever I smell a lilac or a rose it is a reminder of the person my mom was before she was a mother and how important she still is to each of us.
She was an average person who grew up in a most difficult time. But through it all she refused to let the horrible experiences of that time to control her and instead had allowed it to define who she really was ~ a beautiful and courageous woman whom we were blessed to have as our mother.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom – you will always be alive in our hearts and in our memories.