A Mother’s Day Letter, A Tribute to My Mom with Balsam Hill

Years ago, as Mother’s Day was approaching,

I was thinking about my Grandmother . . . my mother’s mother.

I never met her. She passed away when my mom was just 16 years old.

I have always dreamed about how it would be like, to have spent time with her,

to have her tell me stories of my mom, when she was a young girl.

So I sat down one day and wrote her a letter.

A Mother’s Day letter, a tribute to my mom.

Mother's Day-Balsam Hill-Japanese Doll-Housepitality Designs

Today I am participating in a very special Mother’s Day Blog Hop sponsored by Balsam Hill

to celebrate wonderful moms or that special person who was a mother figure in your life.

Mother's Day with Balsam Hill-Housepitality Designs

Dear Grandma,

I never knew you. You passed away when your daughter, my mother, was 16 years old.

Your daughter, my mother, was strong. . . . she still is.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day-Housepitality Designs

She was the one that held me together when I fell to my knees when my dad suddenly died.

She was strong. I was not.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

She made it through her teen years after you passed away,

helping to take care and raise her two younger brothers,

during the difficulties  of wartime in Japan.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

She sought advice and help from your sister, her aunt.

I never knew you, but I know your name . . . a beautiful name, Kyoko.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs Balsam Hill White Viola Arrangement

I want to thank you….for giving life to my mom, Michiko.

And, I want to thank you for appearing in my mom’s dream.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

You appeared on a beautiful white elephant

and told your daughter to meet that handsome young American G.I.

who she met on a trolly and he asked her to meet him at the bridge

after work the next day.

How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R Friedman-Housepitality Designs (From the book, “How My Parents Learned to Eat” by Ina R. Friedman which has amazing parallels of my parents who first met in Yokohama, Japan.) Illustration by: Allen Say

You know your daughter was very hesitant.

She wasn’t going to meet him. Then you appeared in her dream.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

You knew her destiny. Thank you Grandma.

And Grandma, I also thank you for inspiring me to be a most wonderful Grandma myself.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

I wanted so much when I was young, to experience typical grandmother and granddaughter

things, like baking cookies or enjoying a cup of green tea with you.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

To crawl in your lap and hear tales of the wonderful folklore of Japan.

I learned how to be the best Grandma from your daughter, my mother.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

Balam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

She is the best Grandmother and Great Grandmother to my son and granddaughter and

for that matter, she is that to all of her many grandchildren and great grandchildren

who all adore their Ichiban Grandma.

My son will never forget the wonderful memories he made with his grandmother.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs Balsam Hill White Garden Rose Arrangement (Champagne bucket not included)

Like the time she taught him how to juggle with bean bags that they crafted together.

She taught him the true lessons of life. To be grateful, tolerant, forgiving.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

To never hold a grudge. To help those who can never re-pay you.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs Balsam Hill Yellow Tulip Arrangement

To appreciate the simple pleasures of life, waking up each day and thankful to see the sun.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

Balsam Hill Yellow Tulip Stems

I thank you Grandma, for inspiring me to make beautiful memories with my granddaughter

and in turn, she will tell tales of me to her daughter or son,

of how she spent wonderful times with her Grandma.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs

 I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day Grandma,

as I never had the opportunity to tell you in person.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-Housepitality Designs Balsam Hill Grace Rose and Peony Arrangement

I know you can hear me, every day . . .

alongside my dad, the love of my mom’s life, and she, his.

The “love” that you chose for your daughter in her dream

of you on that WHITE ELEPHANT.

Love always,

Your Granddaughter,



I hope you enjoyed my letter to my Grandmother.

I treasure the time with my mother who is 92 years young.

When she visits me, she shall stay in this guest room and the arrangement

shown above of the Grace Rose and Peony Arrangement will be gifted especially to her

from the wonderful folks of Balsam Hill.

Balsam Hill Mother's Day Tribute-guest room-Housepitality Designs

She will be thrilled!

Balsam Hill is offering our readers  10% off  their 

 florals on top of another  10%  off that is onsite.   Use the coupon code of : mothersday2017

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yesterday, the talented Courtney of French Country Cottage

presented a most beautiful mantel for her Mother’s Day Tribute.

I will be followed by these lovely ladies on Wednesday and Thursday:

Alicia of A Burst of Beautiful

Sarah of The Yellow Cape Cod.

Visit these fabulous ladies for more Mother’s Day inspiration!

Have a most beautiful day from me and my mom!

Mom-Easter 2017

Note: I was provided these amazing faux floral arrangements and flowers that truly look so realistic from Balsam Hill.  All glorious reviews are joyfully my own!

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  1. That is the sweetest post and I learned more things that I didn’t know. The flowers really do look very real. You do have the sweetest mom as I have met her in person. She has the sweetest outlook on life. I wish she could teach my mom a thing or two. 🙂
    Kim’s recent post…French Farmhouse Style VignettesMy Profile

  2. Sweet hearts must run in your family and I hope one is passed on to your granddaughter.
    Linda’s recent post…Flowers As ArtMy Profile

  3. Well, Shirley, I have tears streaming down my cheeks at your beautiful letter. I was blessed to have lived with my Gramdmother for several years til she passed away when I was 10. But I have wonderful memories of her. I am SO glad your Grandmother appeared to your Mom in her dream! I also am loving every arrangement you got from Balsam Hill!!!! How generous of them. Have a beautiful day!
    Pinky’s recent post…I Just Couldn’t Resist!!!!!My Profile

  4. Linda miller says

    A sweet tribute to a lovely lady.

  5. Sandra D, Joliet says

    Very touching. My Grandmother passed away 2 years before I was born. I envy those who got to know their Grandparents. I had one Grandfather that lived in another state and he too passed away when I was about 5 so I only remember a glimpse of him on a trip “home”. I remember hearing the whip-poor-wills that lived behind his barn “talking” at night and that scary thing called an outhouse. I’m glad my Mother has made it to 84 and is still going strong. Whenever I crochet, hand embroider or or work on a quilt, I imagine sitting next to her and getting tips from her. Silly to others but Mom said Grandma would be so proud of me. My Mother taught me as I got the “urge” to learn. The urge comes from something deep inside….a thread so to speak…that links our generations together. My Grandmother did it out of necessity, being poor with 10 children, living on a farm. My Mother became strong working on that farm, getting up early to milk the cows and help with chores. I’m so spoiled compared to them. But that thread runs down and wraps itself around me, I craft because I enjoy it and something in my genetic makeup prompts me to carry on.

  6. amy chalmers says

    This post caught me off guard Shirley. It’s the most beautiful tribute I can recall reading and I thank you for sharing about your mom and grandmother. That dream of the White Elephant gave me chills! I’m so glad she listened, and I can also say you would have made your grandmother very proud.

  7. What a beautiful letter to your grandmother. What a great story about how your Mom and Dad met too!
    Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things’s recent post…Happy May Day!My Profile

  8. My mother had a good friend named Teyoko who was a “war bride” who attended the same church as we did. She was a very sweet person and taught my mom how to make egg rolls. Come to think of it, she’s probably why Mom loved a cup of hot tea when everyone else were coffee addicts!

    I’m so glad you are able to celebrate and honor your Mom,and I wish you both a happy Mother’s Day.

  9. Beautifully written. I really enjoyed your post. It was a WONDERFUL idea. Writing a letter to your grandmother was a great way to write a tribute to your Mother.

  10. Shirley this is just beautiful. Your written words from you loving heart and all the beautiful pictures are truly a wonderful tribute to your grandmother and a great way to say Happy Mom’s Day to your mom and yourself. This was so sweet and beautiful. Have a great Mothers Day.
    Kris @ Junk Chic Cottage’s recent post…SadnessMy Profile

  11. That was incredibly touching.
    And you of course, made me cry.
    What a beautiful letter!!!!

  12. This is so beautiful Shirley. I miss my grandmothers so much.

  13. Shirley, your post brought tears to my eyes. It’s such a beautiful tribute to your mother and grandmother. Cherish your precious mother. I would give anything to have five more minutes with mine. Blessings to you both!

  14. Shirley, this was a beautiful post! I enjoyed reading it so much. Such a wonderful tribute! You are so blessed with such a beautiful legacy!

  15. So beautiful Shirley!! So glad to have you on the blog hop- and as a friend! xo

  16. I was blessed to have a wonderful relationship with my grandmother. It really is a special relationship as you know. I can see you have it with your “sweetie” and your son is so fortunate to have the closeness with your mom. This is a beautiful post and your mom will be thrilled with her beautiful gift.

  17. This is such a sweet post! How special. How amazing it is that she appeared to her in a dream and shaped her life. Wow.

    What an amazing post Shirley. I loved the letter and this will be such a sweet spot for your mother to stay when she visits.

    Nancy @ Slightly Coastal’s recent post…The Purse That Changed My LifeMy Profile

  18. Shirley that letter to your grandmother was precious. I have always wondered what my paternal grandmother would have been like to know. I would loved to hear her voice and learn her wisdom. She died when my dad was 5 so I never had a chance to meet her. I loved my maternal grandmother. She always made homemade potato bread and the best turkey dinner! Your mom is so adorable. My mom is alive but having memory issues- it’s become difficult to enjoy celebrations these days. The flowers from Balsm Hill are amazingly beautiful!
    Liz @ Infuse With Liz’s recent post…Mini-Tablescape and Plate RackMy Profile

  19. Shirley,
    What a wonderful tribute to your late grandmother and your Mom as well. I love how you paid tribute to their heritage with all the Japanese accents and décor. I cant get over how young your Mom looks at 92!

    This will be a difficult Mothers Day for both my husband and his sister as they lost their Mom yesterday at age 85. I also lost a wonderful Mother in law of 30 years. My husband and I both had wonderful grandmothers and we were so blessed to had them in our lives for so long.

  20. Sheila k says

    So touching and what a beautiful tribute! You are blessed, and it allowed me to appreciate all of my blessings, even though my Mother passed away two and a half years ago. I was fortunate to have grown up with my Mom, and grandparents, and gave them great-grand children. Your Mother is beautiful as you are too! Enjoy a wonderful Mothers Day with all the ladies in your life. The flowers are so pretty and well put together. Very inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

  21. bobbi duncan says

    Oh, Shirley, I love your letter! I cherish the times I spent with my grandmother. My grandparents lived three doors down from us so I got to enjoy their company often. Then, when we moved away for my dad’s new job, I spent one month with them every summer. Some of my very favorite memories are of those wonderful days. My mom died when she was just 68. I long for her so many times. It’s always hard on days like Mother’s Day when I wish I could shower her with love. I know you cherish every moment with your mom. Hope you both share a lovely Mother’s Day. Hugs!

  22. You are so blessed Shirley to have your mother around still. I lost mine when I was 19. May you enjoy her and share in the love and memories that she has created for you and your children. Because at the end of the day family is what matters the most. What a lovely post.
    Mary – the boondocks blog’s recent post…How to Re-purpose a Tire Rim into a Unique wind Chime – International Bloggers ClubMy Profile

  23. A lovely, lovely tribute to your grandmother and mother. <3 Your grandmother would be very proud of you, Shirley. I love all the heartfelt thoughts you shared. We had the story at school about the serviceman and his future bride going out to eat ~ Loved it! My mom passed away in December 2004 and I miss her it seems more each year. Happy Mother's Day to you.

    Barb 🙂
    Barbara Chapman ~ French Ethereal’s recent post…Taking Tea ~ Chocolate Angel Tea RoomMy Profile

  24. What a beautiful letter! That was a wonderful way to express your love for your mom. I was very privileged to know both my grandmothers. They were my example for the way I wanted to be a grandmother. I was especially close to my Mother’s mom. She lived with us from the time I was three. She lived long enough to help me with my daughters. Being a Granny for the last 25 years has just been the best! I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!

  25. Merry Pierson says

    What a beautiful tribute to your Grandmother! Like you both of my grandmothers passed before I was born so I too had to learn to be a good Grandmother from my Mom. The flowers are so beautiful and so real looking!

  26. This is just beautiful… I did have the opportunity to know my grandmother and I will always treasure those moments we spent together.
    lorb’s recent post…Saying Goodbye…My Profile

  27. What a heartfelt and beautiful letter to your Grandma and tribute to your Mom! And I know your are making your own special memories with your granddaughter, who is lucky to have you so close. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Oh Shirley what a heartfelt letter. You brought tears to my eyes!
    Pamela-From my front porch to yours’s recent post…Farmhouse Garage Door MakeoverMy Profile

  29. Shirley, this was the most beautiful post. Your letter to your grandmother was absolutely moving and so special to read. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day! xo

  30. This post was so beautiful!! I had tears reading this special letter. So glad you still have your Mom and she looks much younger than you say. I lost my mom suddenly 3 years ago and only saw my grandmother a few times before she passed. Wishing you and your mom a Blessed Mothers Day!

  31. Shirley, this is such a lovely tribute to the special Mothers in your life. I love the part about your Dad and Mom meeting the next day at the bridge. This reminds me of the story behind the design on my Blue Willow China which I got from my Grandmother. I will always regret I didn’t spend more time with her in her later years. We always think there will be more chances. Must remember to cherish and make the most of TODAY!

  32. Shirley, what a beautiful tribute to both these women, your Obasaan, and your Mom. I am so certain both these women are so proud of the daughter, mother and grandmother you are! Sniffing a little…your letter is beyond heart touching. I love you my friend, you truly have a lovely heart and spirit. xo Lidy
    Lidy@Frenchgardenhouse Antiques’s recent post…May GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  33. Shirley: I saved this post for this morning when I knew I would have time to read it and I am so glad that I did. What a beautiful tribute to both your mother and grandmother. Even though you were not able to know your grandmother, her spirit is with you always.

    I have read so much about many people of your mothers generation coming to our country – a foreign land, leaving everything they knew and held dear. I honestly can’t imagine the courage that takes. Even though your mom had your dad, her new world had to be overwhelming. You must be so very proud of her and to call her mom.

    Thank you for this lovely, lovely post! And, many blessings to you and your mom.
    Sandra at Maison De Jardin’s recent post…Joie de Vivre – Joy of LifeMy Profile

  34. Shirley, what a beautiful and sweet post. You so honored your precious mom and your grandma you never knew! The flowers really look real, beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing your lovely personal thoughts!
    I am sorry I am behind, took a few days off!
    Pam Richardson’s recent post…Simple Southern Sunday No. 131My Profile

  35. Good topic to show love about mother. I love my mother very much. My mother was a great woman in this world. She did not study but gave me everything.
    Who Mothers Day 2019


  1. […] May 2: Shirley of Housepitality Designs […]

  2. […] Country Cottage | Housepitality Designs | A Burst of Beautiful | Yellow Cape […]

  3. […] If you missed my tribute to her, you can read it HERE. […]

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