My mother has always loved gardening. Some of my earliest memories are of our backyard in full bloom with spring flowers. Mom’s favorite is a delicate, sweetly scented blue and yellow beauty that multiplies year after year: the forget-me-not.
There is an old English folk tale about a knight who drowns while trying to retrieve forget-me-not for his love. Traditionally, forget-me-nots were given as tokens of affection to remind one of the giver. They were an extremely popular motif of the Victorian period (1880-1910) appearing on china, ephemera, and jewelry.
For Mother’s Day every year I try to find a gift that links Mom’s love of forget-me-nots with her passion for antiques. I scour local shops, antique shows and the Internet for that special gift. One year, I found the perfect broach made of gold and adorned with enameled forget-me-nots. Another Mother’s Day, I found fabulous antique forget-me-not prints that now are hanging in her dining room. I have also found pieces of Schumann china called, “Forget-me-not”. Many years, I have given her a piece of porcelain with hand painted flowers. Decorating this type of porcelain was a popular pastime for women in the early 1900’s.
No matter what I give her, I want it to convey my appreciation and love. I want the gift to be as special as she is. As my mother unwraps the present, her smile is my reward. I realize that the sentiment behind giving forget-me-nots hasn’t changed in over a hundred years.
Happy Mother’s Day!