Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dear Great Grandma Gertrude


I just wanted you to know that I'm taking good care of your poppy seeds that happened to fall into my hands a few years back. In fact, our very first poppy opened up to the sun, Wednesday, just a couple of days before Mother's Day. While we admired this first bloom, I imagine how they must have looked in your yard in Pleasant Prairie. I think of you--a newer mother at the time--with an apron about your waist, hair pulled back, stealing a few minutes of precious time to till and cultivate the clay earth and how the dirt must have seeped into the fine lines of your hands. How you knew that the time it took to formulate a caring nesting spot, to carefully scatter and lightly cover seeds, would be rewarded in due time with beautiful blossoms that spoke of God's creation. And I know your children loved the work of your tireless hands. I know because your daughter grew to love poppies. She sweated and ached over her garden and harvested the same seeds, season after season, and passed them down to be treasured in generational gardens. And my mom knew enough of the treasured harvest to save the seeds for years and years.

The way you cared for your poppies and the offspring seed speaks volumes of how you were not afraid to put in the extra work and time it took to create beauty. The patience is one I imagine you had in your little farmhouse with your little children. I pray that I might feel the same as I raise my daughters, tireless and patient while making the effort to make something count for God's Kingdom. To show these little souls the way to love. And the tilling we do as moms, and the weeding we do in our own hearts, and the extra miles we go to train our children in the way they should go will crop up in the future generations. Isn't it sweet, Grandma, how we can give to our great grandchildren even when our own "garden" is but a memory?


I wish I could have met you, but in some ways I feel like I have, when I gaze upon the beauty cropping up in my flowerbed. Thank you Great Gertrude for your sweet poppies. Poppies born out of diligence and effort, opening new to my little girls' (your great-great grandchildren's) wonder-filled eyes.

Love,

Your Great Grandaughter

2 comments:

emily wierenga said...

this is beautiful.

Hilty Sprouts! said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandma. I also love poppies! We have big orange ones in front of our house (I hope they bloom soon!) and my favorite painting in our house is a still life of a poppy arrangement. They are so cheerful! My other favorite flowers are gerbera daisies and sunflowers. They just make me happy!

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