Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Lilac Bush

The photo above is of my aunt Beatrice and my mother - Lolo, of course. It's one I've loved in the past (confident Bea, shy Lolo), and recently arrived in my email, as my dear uncle has been scanning old family photos and sharing them. My uncle, always an important big brother figure in my life, was the fifth child and first boy in a family of 10 children. I could go on and on about the importance of my mother's siblings in my life, but I'll save that for now.

What intrigues me is the pose in front of the lilac bush. That lilac figures into many, many of the photos of my mother and her siblings. One of the clearest photos I have of my grandmother, the one I've set most as my image of her, captures her standing near the lilac in a dark coat. Someday, I think I'll go through the family photo album and count just how many photos were taken near the lilac.

When I was a child, we moved a lot. On my parents 16th wedding anniversary, they had moved 16 times - I went to 9 different schools. Sometimes I was able to stay in one school for a couple of years, but in third grade, I attended three different schools. I always figured that my dad, having lost both legs in WWII, was restless due to his limited mobility. Lolo tried to nest and make a pleasant home in every new place.

Everywhere we went, my mother planted a lilac. Sometimes they took a year or two to bloom, sometimes we got to see a blossom or two the very first year...and then we'd move. Lolo always said that getting a new lilac to bloom made us move!

I married very young the first time. My now-ex and I bought our first home on his 21st birthday. Continuing the tradition, I planted lilacs. We moved. He and I owned four different houses, and seemed to move every time the lilacs bloomed. Oldtimer and I lived in the house in NC for eight years, and yes, I finally got a lilac to bloom there - not easy in NC.

I'm glad this house came with the lilac already planted and blooming.


Phyl said...

Are you sure that's not your mom on the left in this photo?! She's the exact "spitting" image of you! I can't get over it...what a cute shot of both of them; thanks for sharing! You're ALL pretty women!

Linda Fleming said...

Lilacs were my mom's favorite. When they bloomed, she would fill the house with vases of them. I planted one in my yard the year she died, but sold the house before it ever got around to blooming.

We moved a lot when I was a kid,too. Rarely did I go to the same school two years in a row. Maybe that is why I am such a homebody now-LOL!

The Foxes Den said...

Sue, what a beautiful story and wonderful picture! Love the pictures!

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

You know how KUHL this photo would be to collage on! Beautiful babes, fun SMILES! xo, Monica :)

Alma Stoller said...

Hi Sue,

What a great picture and story.


Machie Family Genealogy said...

This is too much - I live in NC also. Please teach me how to sign up for your blog. Still trying to learn this stuff. Linda In NC