After I was born Dad greeted Mom in her hospital room with a big bunch of daffodils. Maybe that explains why I’ve always had a special fondness for them. I know Dad’s bouquet touched Mom deeply because she spoke of it often throughout the years and loved picking daffodils each spring.

When I was very young Dad continued honoring Mom on my birthdays with special gifts. Mom said that he had done the same for his own mother on his birthdays when she was alive, as his way of saying thanks to her for bringing him into the world. When old enough I decided to continue what Dad had started and gave Mom gifts on my birthdays, too. It became something I looked forward to doing each year, especially since these gifts typically were spring flowers, reminiscent of that first bouquet of daffodils Dad gave her. This tradition also helped provide comfort to Mom and continuity when Dad passed away in 2002, for my yearly gifts reminded her of him.

Mom passed away in February 2012. Although her health had been steadily declining for several years, a heart attack took her in minutes. Unknown to us at the time, the conversation we had just hours earlier was our last. Emptiness replaced the companionship we had shared. Bleak winter days following her passing matched the loneliness I felt inside. After a few weeks passed, milder weather came and the first spring daffodils bravely poked their way through the ground. My sense of isolation began to lift at the sight of these flowers emerging, bringing promise of better days ahead. As the daffodils’ cheerful yellow petals unfolded a little more each day, so did pleasant memories of Mom.

Witnessing life’s continuing cycle as evidenced by the earth’s renewal reminds me of God’s love and faithfulness. He knows my heart and provides each day for my needs even before I know them myself. The year Mom passed the daffodils were particularly beautiful. My grandson brought me some on my birthday.



A New Year begins, but we never completely forget the past one. Memories connect our years and compose the very fabric of our lives. Happy memories we tuck safely within our hearts to encourage us during darker times. Unpleasant memories we often file away in the recesses of our brains and try to forget. As long as we live we never stop building memories.

Although with age they may find it sometimes challenging to recall certain details, elderly people often enjoy sharing their memories. By telling about their past, they have a chance to relive it while entertaining those who take the time to listen. Younger listeners may have history brought to life as they listen to stories told by people who actually lived through those times.

Once we complete our earthly journey, we leave memories with our loved ones. Memories forever bond us to one another. Hearing a particular song, sniffing a familiar scent, or observing certain signs from nature often remind us of dearly departed ones. Through memories we may feel a continued sense of communication with those who are no longer with us. These ties we have with loved ones who have passed can be powerful. In some cases they are so strong that survivors relate feeling their presence during critical times in their lives.

In a more deliberate way, we can choose to remain in touch with those we have lost through writings they left behind. Before his passing my dad began writing his memoirs. As I read these stories he wrote about his life when he was a young man, I get a glimpse into past events that shaped him to become the person I knew. His writing style, the words he used to convey his thoughts and the emotions he brought forth through his descriptions, all keep his memory close to me.



One of the things I like best about living in the Northeast is watching the change of seasons. Each season holds its own special beauty and I enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells each one brings. Not surprisingly, as I live each new season, my mind returns to memories of seasons past.

Fall, for example, brings forth images of attending our town’s annual festival when I was a child. The crisp autumn air carried the sweet aroma of donuts and the drone of the auctioneer’s voice from the center stage. My eyes feasted on the assortment of prizes at each of the booths lining the perimeter of the event, and I hoped to win one of them to bring home. At home, fall meant a time for decorating the house in warm autumn hues, the scent of freshly picked grapes, and preparation for the upcoming holidays.

As an adult, I know fall is here when I hear the sound of geese flying overhead. A neighbor has a pond where they often stop on their journey south. We put out the birdfeeders for the birds that winter here, and the chipmunks scurry around gathering food for the long winter ahead. Watching the bright colors of summer fade into fall can be both breathtaking and a little sad, as we watch the earth take on a new type of beauty.

Observing these wonders of nature often reminds me of the seasons of life and the beauty in each one. Through my ever-changing surroundings I have the privilege of continually reminiscing about each of the stages of life that I’ve experienced so far and savoring memories of each one.