Dear Grandma ~ A Tribute to Mom with Flowers

Hello Dear Readers!

Happy Monday and

Happy Monday Morning Blooms Day!

It’s a  most beautiful Monday, when I and

my wonderful flower loving friends,

Lidy, Mary and Pam,

share our love for flowers,

every 1st and 3rd Monday

of the month, hoping to bring some of

that love to you for inspiration.

Today we pay tribute to Mothers.

Mother’s Day can certainly be both

joyous and bittersweet as we celebrate

our Mothers in person or in our hearts.

Today I bring you,

My letter to the Grandmother I never met.

Dear Grandma ~ A Tribute To  Mom With Flowers

This first image depicts the simplicity 

in which my mother lives by.



The links and images to my fellow

Monday Morning Blooms friends

are at the bottom of this post.



If my mom were visiting,

this is the flower arrangement

she would appreciate, simple, not fussy.

So the guest room is ready

and waiting for her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Years ago, as Mother’s Day

was approaching, I was thinking

about my maternal grandmother.

I never met her.  She passed away

when my mom was only 16 years old.

I have always dreamed about

what it would be like to have

spent time with her.

To have her tell me stories

of when my mom was a young girl.

So I sat down and wrote a letter.

A Mother’s Day letter ~ A tribute to my mom.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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.

She was the one that held me together

when I fell to my knees,

when my dad died…she was strong….I was not.

She made it through her teen years as she sought advice

and help from your sister, her beloved aunt.

She helped raise her younger brothers

in times of much difficulty . . . the War.

I never knew you….but I know your name..

a beautiful name….Kyoko.

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


(If my mom were visiting, these simple vases

of daisies would be on the dining room table)


Grandma, (Obachan), I also  want to thank you

for appearing in my mom’s dream.

You appeared on a white elephant….

and told your daughter to go meet

that handsome young American G.I.

who asked you to meet him at the bridge

the next day after work.


(From the book, “How My Parents Learned to Eat”

by Ina R. Friedman which has amazing parallels

of my parents who met in Yokohama, Japan)

Illustration by Allen Say

You know your daughter was very hesitant.

She wasn’t going to meet him, but you knew her destiny.

She took her dream of you as a sign,

and met this handsome American G.I.

Thank you Grandma…




and Grandma…I also thank you

for making me  want to be a wonderful Grandma myself.

I wanted so much when I was young…

to bake cookies with you

to crawl in your lap and hear tales

of the wonderful folklore of Japan.

But then again…

I learned how to be the best Grandma

from your daughter…my mother.

She is the best Grandmother (and mom)

to my son and all her grandchildren.

My son will never forget the wonderful memories

he made with his grandmother…

of how she taught him to juggle…

with bean bags

and taught him many wonderful lessons of life.

I thank you…for making me want to make

beautiful memories with my granddaughter.


And in turn, she will tell tales of me

to her daughter or son….

of the times she spent  with  her Grandma.

So, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day Grandma/Obachan.

As I did not have the opportunity

to tell you in person

but I know you can hear me . .

every day….alongside my dad….

the “love” that you chose for your daughter….

in her dream…..of you on that WHITE ELEPHANT.

With Love,

your Granddaughter,


~ ~ ~ ~

And now, I will show you some

flower arrangements that

I have made in the past,

that I know

would be my mom’s favorites

as they also contain her favorite,



A bowl of her favorite Japanese cookies.


Her favorite Green Tea too.


Flowers in a teapot is always 

 a delight for her. 


And a tray of goodies!


If tea is not available,

then lemonade and lemon bars

would be her second choice.


(Me and Mom at my sister’s – Dec. 2019)



the strength and rock of our family.

I know she gave me my strength!

I will end this post

with a saying that I use every day…

something my mom says every day!!

It’s is a great day….as I woke up and saw the sun!!!!



~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now is the time to visit my

amazing Blooms Friends!

The links to their posts are under their

beautiful images!!!

Pam ~ Everyday Living


Lidy ~ FrenchGardenHouse


Mary ~ Home Is Where The Boat Is


And Me ~ Housepitality Designs



P.S. I have written about the letter
to my Grandmother/Obachan a few years ago.
If you are reading about this again, I hope
you enjoyed it again. 🙂

Things at the Hickory Cottage are moving along.
The stacks of boxes are getting shorter
and I am beginning to have fun putting rooms
together. So hopefully very soon I can present
more rooms as I complete them.

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  1. Shirley, I love your pretty yet simple arrangements, as well as your gorgeous teapot arrangement and French jar of blooms. I remember your sweet letter to your Grandmother/Obachan. Such a wonderful story and dream your mom had that was instrumental in her meeting your dad and I love the cute photo of you with your mom!!! I know you’re enjoying getting settled and putting your ‘signature Shirley stamp’ on new home…looking forward to updates soon. 🙂 Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day. ♥

  2. Dearest Shirley, your letter to your Grandmother, that you never met, has me teary-eyed. I love the dream and story of your precious mom meeting your dad. Beautiful stories to be passed down from generation to generation. Your lovely mom and my mom would be instant friends…loving simple things! I love all of your arrangements, each one is is perfectly styled with the Shirley touch. The photo of you and your mom this past Christmas speaks volumes. Your house is so beautiful and I can’t wait to see the reveal of each room. The slight glimpse of the guest room has me anxiously awaiting a blue and white bedroom. It is always a pleasure to join you for Monday Morning Blooms. Happy Monday ♥️

  3. Shirley, I could hardly read the page for the tears. What a beautiful tribute to your mother and grandmother. I am blown away.
    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day. Blessings to you today. Thanks for the beauty and inspiration.

  4. Cynthia Trudeau says

    Very special tribute to the women in your life. Any chance you can share where you found the fork flower stem vase?

    • Cynthia, I purchased it at the gift shop at an Inn we were staying at in Maine. They told me it was made by a local artisan. I wonder if there are anything like these on Etsy.

  5. Debbie Joens says

    What a very special tribute to your mother and grandmother! I so enjoyed reading your letter. I love all of your lovely flower arrangements. Can’t wait to see each room of your beautiful home – just the peak of the guest room has me drooling!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you Mary!

  6. Dear Shirley,
    Tears, tears and more tears. I can’t even find words to tell you how this story touched my heart. Well, I do believe that these two beautiful, strong women have passed down their strength and tremendous love to you. We have witnessed your strength in the last few years. All your arrangements are perfectly beautiful. I will read this over and over even though I will cry. How we learn to love people we have never met!!

  7. Dear Shirley, I missed this wonderful letter and tribute to your Grandmother and Mother the first time so glad I read it this morning. Brought tears to my eyes as I miss my Grandmothers, Mother and my wonderful Aunt Beulah! I’m so happy you are in your gorgeous new home, getting settled and able to share your lovely decorating talents with us again! Look forward to everyone!

  8. Beautiful post Shirley! Lovely picture of you and your mom. I miss mine every day😔

  9. Oh Shirley, I sniffled all the way through your post, what a beautiful tribute to your Mother and grandmother you never knew! I never met my father’s parents and my mother’s died when I was 5…But I do love family history, it is so important to share with our children and grands so they can treasure their heritage. I always love hearing the romantic way your parents met, just like a movie! Your flowers are always beautiful, whether simple or lavish, flowers always bring joy! Have a lovely Mother’s Day week, and let the boxes unpack themselves 🙂

  10. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says

    I thought I left a comment, but it is not here….so. What a lovely tribute to your Mother and Grandmother. Have a wonderful week!

  11. Oh Shirley your letter to your grandmother is so special. Made me tear up. I could feel your heart in this letter. What a beautiful love story for you mom and dad too. I am so happy your son has given you Graylyn so you could feel the love that grandmothers feel. Just when you think you could never love anyone more than your own child they give you a grandchild and your heart blossoms again. I know Graylyn loves being with you and enjoys all the fun memories you make with her. With Mother’s Day approaching I wish you so much love. I wish we could be with our kids and grandkids but this year will just be a different way of making memories. Stay well and safe sweet friend.

  12. Beautifully expressed and lovely memories shared.

  13. Sherry m says

    Beautiful tribute, gorgeous arrangements. How thankful I am for my dear mother who just turned 90. She loves flowers and all things garden. She still works hard in her large garden and inspires me every day. Your tribute reminds me to be grateful for the influence my grandmothers had upon me and the influence my son’s grandparents have had upon him. Something that remains forever priceless. Thank you, Shirley for sharing your thoughts, time, beautiful home, and lovely keepsakes.

  14. Rebecca says

    Shirley, I always enjoy your posts and I look forward to each one! I don’t remember seeing your letter to your grandma before, but it is very sweet and endearing! Grandmothers are a blessing! My paternal grandmother died when I was only three years old, nevertheless, I do have a few sweet memories of her. My maternal grandmother lived a three hour’s drive from us when I was a child, so I mostly saw her on holidays and during summer vacation. But she always made such a fuss over us when we arrived and I loved the sound of her voice! Very distinctive. I miss her. I still have my mother with me though. In fact, she moved in with us about a year ago. We enjoy gardening together! Shirley, I love your attention to detail and of course I’m checking out the background. I love all the gold! And the silver! Your tray is beautiful as well as that precious fork vase! Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  15. Dear Shirley,

    What a sweet sweet post, dear friend. I know your grandmother would have loved you to pieces, and she would be as proud of you as your Mom is! You come from a long line of women who live life well, who take good care of all the people you love, and who make life around them a blessing. I am proud to call you friend.

    I wish you a beautiful Mother’s Day, friend. You are everything your Mom is to your family. I love you. Lidy

  16. What a lovely tribute. I never met my paternal grandmother but would have loved to. Love your letter and the story about your mom’s dream and the fulfillment she received. Love the simple flower in the vase. I hope your mom is doing well and before long you’ll be able to see each other again.

  17. Shirley this is an absolutely fantastic post! Thank you and a Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  18. Your lovely tribute to your grandmother and your Mom was quite touching! How beautiful that your Mom had such a dream!
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  19. Theresa Keller says

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mom and Grandmother! I was blessed as a child to have a close relationship with my Grandparents, my Mother’s parents and your post brought back some sweet memories.

    Thank you and Happy Mothers Day to you! Theresa

  20. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says

    Shirley, what a wonderful letter you wrote to your Grandmother which you were not blessed to know. Such a precious tribute to your Grandmother and your precious Mom. Your floral arrangements are absolutely beautiful! Just love each one! You have been blessed with so many wonderful gifts which you always share with us! Thank-you for being such a blessing in our life.

    Hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day! So happy that you are gradually getting all those boxes unpacked! This is always such a job! Take good care of yourself! Thanks for such a beautiful post!

  21. Shirley,
    Your poem was very touching. Happy Mother’s Day!!

  22. Thanks Shirley for such a wonderful poem. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  23. What a beautiful blog and tributes! I love your beautiful floral arrangements and the containers they are in.

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