Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, by American Anna Jarvis, who held a memorial for her mother in West Virginia. It became an official American holiday in 1914. Jarvis spent later years denouncing the commercialization of the holiday and trying to remove it from the calendar.
Mother’s Day, for us, was first celebrated in 1983, the year our eldest sister was born. We spent the next thirty three years celebrating with our mom– we would buy flowers, cards, pyjamas, clothes– over and over again. Our cards would apologize for being terrible kids and reassuring her how much we loved her, even when we didn’t tell her enough.
Now, we celebrate in her honour– apologizing for being terrible kids and reassuring her how much we loved her, even when we didn’t tell her enough. Our mother passed away in the winter of 2016, the same year that Lilacs & Lace was born, by no coincidence. I remember walking to school and trailing the fencing with the tips of my fingers, picking at the lilac bushes that grew along the road for a single block. We would pluck the lilacs and bring them home for mom, she would smell them deeply and put them in a glass tumbler. Then we’d do it again the next day. My mother’s name is Leila– and it could be a combination of her name and this memory, but I knew that whatever the name of our company, it would be about her, it had started with her.
My mother was a beacon of unwavering support. No matter what I wanted to do, no matter where I steered my future, she was my biggest fan, my main supporter. It was my mother who– when I spent hours planning our eldest sister’s bridal shower– told me that I should do this forever. My sisters were roped into this through sheer allegiance– where I went they came too, and my dreams became theirs.
As I write this, my siblings and I are watching a movie waiting for the pizza to arrive. We visited our mother this morning during what looked like the cemetery’s busiest day– literally, police cars were stationed along the entrance diverting traffic. We took flowers, we laughed, we cried, and we went home to celebrate our sister, now a mother too. Mother’s Day isn’t magical anymore. It isn’t the day where we get to apologize for being terrible kids for the last year and wipe our slate clean. There is no one here to forgive us anymore, though our apologies are the same.
I heard this once and I cannot find anyone to attribute it to– but I can’t help but think, and “Cemeteries have seen more flowers than the Gardens of Versailles.” I sometimes think that maybe guilt buys roses and grief buys tulips, both of which we have plenty. So if you have the blessing of being with your mother today, buy the flowers now, say your thanks now.
Happy Mother’s Day, to our Mama. To you and your mothers, to those who are expecting, to those who were and have lost, to those who carried but did not deliver, to those who relinquished the title, to those who were given the title unexpectedly, to those who love children who are not theirs. To those who love without condition, without expectation, with unwavering strength and loyalty and complete adoration– to you all, today and always. We started with you, without fail. We owe it to you, without fail.
This post is not a plug, I am not selling you Mother’s Day flowers, I am selling you a reminder. But on the chance that you came here for flowers, and because we are morbid, keep reading.
Some of the arrangements we most enjoy putting together are sympathy florals– not because of their devastating purpose– simply because they stand to shower the deceased with purity, peace and love.
We do not use wholesale moulds or banners, not because there is anything wrong with them– moreso because we want each arrangement specifically catered to the family and their loved one. They will not be memorialized with a gold foiled banner, not by us at least.
Each arrangement is custom ordered– you choose the words, you choose the colours, you choose the shape. We do not have a catalogue from which you can shop, we simply have your ideas and your stories. From rosaries made of roses to angel wings for a guardian angel, we’d love to take that burden on our shoulders. Like we said, no two florals and no two people are alike, let us send them home with your final act of love.