Ashlie Miller: The white flower —for Mother’s Day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2023

Before I leave the house Sunday morning, I will add an extra accessory to my dress — a silk, white carnation. Growing up in a church in the South, I was accustomed to seeing adults, in particular, wearing pink and white carnations or roses on Mother’s Day — a symbol of gratitude for mothers who are living (pink) and also remembering those whose mothers are no longer with us (white).

This custom had faded in my memory until last year — the first year without my mother. Although I was the only one donning a white carnation, I did so because of Mother. There is something in wanting to remember and in wanting others to remember.

What would I want others to remember about my mom?

Mom was a beautiful mix of gentle and strong. Gentle and strong. Gentle with people, gentle in forgetting past offenses. Strong in her faith, strong in her love, firm in her convictions.

Faithful. Mom had seen her own share of life’s ups and downs. Like a wave that crashes us upon the Rock of Jesus, the tests and trials Mom experienced drove her into His arms for comfort and wisdom day after day.

Generous. Mom loved young people, older people, those who were down and out, and all who needed encouragement. Materially, she did not have much to offer. Still, she was always willing to give what she had — a meal or groceries, a listening ear, a word of encouragement from Scripture.

Have you forgotten the custom of the red and white flowers? Would you like others to honor a mother who is living or remember a mom who has passed? Wearing a carnation or rose is a lovely tribute and symbol. I love embracing it, but even without it, we can give a lasting tribute by walking in how we have been loved and mirroring the good examples we received.

My silk boutonniere will yellow, and a fresh carnation will fade in a week. However, putting on Mom’s character traits is a lasting tribute to the one who raised me — the one I call Mom.

What about your mom or the lady who raised, shaped, or influenced you the most? If she is alive, call her! Let her know how she has impacted your life and the traits you choose to put on. If Mom has passed through this life, remember her. Share her story and influence over you and continue her legacy as you decide to reflect her characteristics to shine and flourish with more beauty and fragrance than a carnation. I would love to hear about “Mom.” Email me with your tributes:

Ashlie Miller is mom to four boys and a girl. Her own mother raised her in Concord and China Grove.

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