Farewell deare flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,

Fit, while ye liv’d, for smell or ornament,

And after death for cures.


My mother-in-law grew peonies. The year we were married she dug some of her bulbs out and gave them to us to plant. Young and busy at the time, we didn’t fully appreciate the gift. They were planted in front of the house in some fashion but didn’t came up the following spring. We gave them little thought after that.

The year she went to the nursing home we dug out some of the bulbs, planted them properly, and waited. It was a sad time as we struggled with the memories and emotions involved when emptying her house, and packed what things were to go with her. During that time the peonies suddenly took on new meaning for us.

Their subtle presence in our lives, the memories they evoke each time they come in bloom, brings a smile to my lips, a warm tug to my heart. It is all the proof I need to know we live on long after we have left this earthly  abode. We touch more lives  than we are aware of, without ever knowing the importance of our actions and words. We leave a myriad of sweet memories in our wake. We bring tears of sadness and joy with us in everything we do. We come into the world with nothing, what we leave behind in the minds and hearts of others is what gives our lives meaning.

Farewell Frances, you still make us smile…

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  1. What a lovely way to remember her.
    I’ve never grown peonies, but my MIL has them (she transplanted form her mother or perhaps her grandmother) and they are so pretty and fragrant.

    • I’m so glad we have them , Susan, It is a constant reminder to us especially now that they’re in bloom. :) Flowers are such a wonderful way to remember someone by.

  2. Torry

     /  June 26, 2012

    This is beautiful Laura!!

  3. what a touching post. It truly is what we leave behind in the hearts of others that gives meaning to our life. Sweet that she continues to make you smile.

  4. Lovely, simply lovely

  5. What a lovely reminder of your m-i-law. I haven’t seen peonies in over thirty years. I’d forgotten how beautiful they are.

  6. My garden is filled with them, waiting to open. I’ll be looking at them differently now.

    • Often we are so busy we over look the simple things. :)
      A garden filled with peonies—how lucky you are!

  7. Laura, that is so precious. A garden that blooms with love and beautiful memories. Remember that the only immortality any of us can have is to live on in the memory of those we loved :)

  8. I love plants with a story. Last night I was talking about this with my kids, saying if we move, we have to take this plant and that one because it holds a bit of family history. I value that which I dug up at an old homestead more than the ones I bought at the store.

    My mom is a peonies person, too. My dad was a lupin person, and we had to smuggle them into the backyard because Mom didn’t like them.

    • Great to take plants with you, Diane. They are wonderful reminders, they are living and lasting.
      Oh lupins, they’re so pretty from a distance when growing in someone else’s ditch. Hubby picked me some a few weeks back. I do lov the colours.

  9. I love peonies. Mine aren’t doing well, probably because of the wind off the lake. So sorry for your loss, Laura. We lost my DH’s mother a year ago next month. We’ve been going through some of her stuff, getting ready to move. There was this silver platter that I thought might go in the garage sale. Turns out he bought it for her when he was 9. It still looked new.

  10. Going through somone else’s belongs is very emotionally draining, deciding what to let go and what you have to hang onto.

  11. Sweet story that life does continue in our minds. :)


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