Gardenias: the Sweet Fragrance of Memories

May 4, 2016

gardenia.GayleI am fortunate to live where gardenias flourish. Year after year, blossoms erupt in fragrant profusion. Snowy white blooms contrast with brilliant spring green foliage. Today I plucked two flowers and placed each in a tiny bud vase. My kitchen quickly filled with glorious scent. And memories...

Gardenias were my mother's favorite flower and one of mine (and  my daughter's too. ♥) The lovely flowers conjure memories of Mom. She was a feisty, energetic and loving parent. In 2010, she died at age eighty-seven. I still miss her and the intimate mother-daughter relationship we shared. How she would have loved our newest family member, my grand-baby PJ!

Tonight when my daughter joins us for dinner, I know, from the connection that I have established with my daughter that this family tradition will be repeated. She will snip some blossoms from that gorgeous bush and will place them on her kitchen counter to infuse her home with beauty and memories. I hope too, that someday her step-daughter will embrace this tradition, joining not only generations, but also families.

In this blog we frequently discuss intentionality, adoption-attunement and nurturing connections. By intentionally reinforcing this connection between gardenias, myself, Mom and my daughter, I find comfort, pleasure and joy. This intentional link can persist beyond a single lifetime, bridging loss and building a firm sense of family.

Intentionality is important to the positive growth of our families. Family traditions are one way to ensure that continued growth. They weave a unique personal history to connect us across time and distance. As adopted families, we can grow two ways when establishing family traditions: by taking on our child’s birth family traditions and by nurturing ones that have been passed down to us. How are you establishing family traditions to bind you together  as a family? How are you extending/creating traditions between your family and your child's birth family?


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