Lilac Longing


Lilac-scented grandmother memories,
How her face lit up when we arrived, tired from hours of driving.


White hair tightly curled and steel cat-eye glasses above her beaming smile.
We walked in Mill Creek Park, enjoying the sun and flowers at Fellows Garden.
My photographs have turned yellow and orange, faded like my memories.

Purple Lilacs

Pink and purple lilac stars shine now as they did then,
Sitting on her warm lap, wrapped in soft arms, hearing flower names.

Purple lilacs

From her, I learned the names of roses, lilacs, impatiens and daisies.
She taught me to tell time on the face of her nurse’s watch.

Pink Lilacs

I remember when she seemed so tall, and then I grew taller still.
She loved powdering her face, sharing conversation and keeping her home tidy.
She peppered her conversations with the word, “evidently,”
A word gone from fashion, like her name, Dorothy.

I remember how she loved spring flowers and touring gardens.
I still do that every year, and I miss her. Some aches are precious.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

76 thoughts on “Lilac Longing

    • Thanks for dropping by! I’m glad you’ve liked my website so comprehensively. I love your site, too. I’ve just stopped by. Such joy and romance in your photos, and an appreciation of the past. Lovely, you soul shines through. Warmly, Brenda


  1. Oh, what sweet adorable memories!!! *just reaching for my tissues!!* That’s such a lovely tribute Brenda! 🙂 It re-emerged some memories for me too, my grandmother on my mothers side of the family also loved lilac blossom – they are so petty, and hang like frilly grapes! 🙂 And strange her name was Doris, which I believe is related to Dorothy (nickname I think), and she loved touring gardens, especially botanic gardens. I also remember a friend of mine about the same age as my grandmother who loved to use that word evidently – it used to make me smile how often she used it, you really don’t hear it much now. I read a few books of Christopher Isherwood recently and I noticed he used that word quite a lot in his writing. Phrases like that are well worth noting, they are useful for character’s in stories! 🙂


    • Yes, her verbal habits were very different than we speak now. That one word really strikes me as particular to her. That’s amazing you knew someone of the same age range who used it, too. And that was in England, right? My grandmother lived in Ohio in the US. I wonder if they got it from Isherwood’s writing… or if all three picked it up somewhere else… Interesting memories. Thanks for sharing them with me. 🙂


      • They may have picked up various words or phrases from films, because people in England even in the 1930’s would have had access to American movies, so that may be the connecting factor.! 😉 My grandmother had a whole load of amusing sayings, and as I grew up and realised by watching some of those old crackly black and white movies that they were most probably where she got them all from. It’s interesting that Christopher Isherwood was an English gentleman, his family having roots in the English aristocracy, and yet he spent so many of his later years in California, so who knows where his ‘evidently’ really came from!! 😀


  2. Wonderful post touching souls…Lilac and violets and so many memories…EVIDENTLY:), we both were lucky! The name of my beloved grandmother was Maria. Thank you for bringing me back in time!


    • 🙂 Funny how people’s verbal habits stay with you. Your grandmother Maria must have loved you lots. My grandma’s name was Dorothy. Hugs, Brenda


  3. I saw the title and instantly thought of my Grandmother… 🙂
    she had beautiful Lilacs and I still can draw in the memory of the fragrance from them when I think of her
    Yes, some aches are precious
    Thank you Brenda, for the memory your post brought and for the BEAUTIFUL photos of the Lilacs…
    Take Care…You Matter…


      • I have to smile again…
        I realized as I was working in my greenhouse this afternoon, my Grandmother would have
        been 105 yrs young today, no wonder I kept seeing Lilacs all day…
        I love poetry, it to me holds mysteries in between the lines…I don’t always get it but I
        enjoy the quest of discovery what it feels like to me as I read…yours seems to bring to Earth,
        grounded yet wings waiting to unfurl…and now my Grandmother’s Lilac’s 🙂
        Thank you gain Brenda…I am now finished weeding, cleaning the GH and now am going to work on this quilt…
        and finish deciding on the way to do this carousel horse for my granddaughter
        I have truly enjoyed your photos, it brought back many beautiful memories for me..
        Take Care…You Matter…


        • What a busy grandmother you are, creating the same kinds of memories we cherish about our own. Connections, love of crafts and nature, it’s all part of being human. Hugs, Brenda


  4. Wonderful tribute to your grandmother …. Let the memories keep you smiling. One question … are they lie-lacks or lie-locks?


  5. I read this when you posted it and thought I commented but maybe I did in my head. Made me think of the post you wrote about her china! She sure brings out all the wonderfulness in your writing and memories. This is precious sweet Brenda. Hope your Monday is going well. PINK hugs! ❤


    • I find myself thinking about her a lot in the spring. I miss her buckets when I smell the lilacs. Pinktastic hug-alicious blessings for you and your baby, Brenda


    • Thanks! I do love lilacs, so many are in bloom now. I think I forgot to put up the white ones. I had lots more pictures! 🙂 You take care, too! Brenda


    • You got your pictures right side up! Woo-hoo! She was the only grandparent I remember, and I am lucky I had one to remember. 🙂 My kids have all four, and they have no idea how blessed they are by modern medicine. 🙂


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