A field of violets


I love violets and so, apparently, did my grandmother. She passed away a few weeks ago. She'd been ailing for many years, and so in a lot of ways it was a release for her, but still sad nonetheless. At her memorial service, her children spoke of her love of small things: her fanciful sketches, her beautiful handwriting, the lovely clothes she made for all of her children out of pretty poplin and precious yarns, the delicious bento lunches she made for them to take to school, her endless patience with and attention to each child (she had six!) as she raised them during the Korean War and the chaotic years afterwards, and the way she loved to get out her favorite china when guests came – delicate dishes decorated with violets, her favorite flower. 

Violets are everywhere now so it feels as though she is still with us; it is sweet to see them and remember her. It inspires me that she focused on the small details of home and life and children with such care. It's the way I long to live life too, even though I know I fall short of this ideal so much of the time, and the way she lived life, in a different era, would be an impossibility for me. Not all of that life would even be desirable for me. But the image of her quiet, patient love and creativity stays with me and is an ideal I strive for as best as I can.

Who inspires you to live your best life?


10 thoughts on “A field of violets

  1. Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart

    I’m sorry for your loss. Grief is beyond hard, and you’ve had too much of it lately.
    We’re having a full on snow storm here in CO today, so I’ll have to enjoy your spring visions instead.
    I’d say that my husband is the person who inspires me most. Is that cheesy? Probably, but true.

  2. Alexandra

    Sorry about the loss of your grandmother! You were fortunate to know her. One of my grandmothers died before I was born. The other passed when I was four, so I do not remember her.
    Violets always remind me of my ex-in-laws, who lived in Toulouse, and the flower of Toulouse was violets. What a delicate scent!
    It is my granddaughter who inspires me to live my best life. She lives in California, so we don’t see each other very often, but I feel a link when I work to make this a better world for her generation ….

  3. landguppy

    What inspires me to live my best life is to read about others who have mastered the art — like your dear grandmother. Condolences on your loss and kudos for honoring her so beautifully.

  4. Kristen

    Beautiful post. My parents inspire me every day. Right now they are helping out with medical care in a third world country–that’s what they’re doing with their retirement time. Pansies are one of my dad’s favorite flowers so when they pop up in spring, I often think of him.

  5. Sheryl

    My grandmother, too, was quite an inspiration to me and I was lucky to have her well into my adulthood. I feel for your loss and hope you continue to remember her and find inspiration each time you do. It’s those small things that we have to remind ourselves to notice; when we do, they take on quite an enormity, don’t they?

  6. MarthaAndMe

    I’m sorry for your loss. My grandmother passed away almost a year ago and I think about her almost every day. Like yours, she had a very different life than mine, but one that was inspiring to me nonetheless

  7. Kris

    My husband’s grandmother has the kind of handwriting people comment on. It’s so neat and precise, and yet it takes practice to be able to decipher it. Someday I will get around to framing some of it. It sounds like violets will always remind you of your grandmother. That’s a nice reminder to have!


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