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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"When The Lilacs Bloom"

“I miss you most when lilacs bloom

And leaves catch drops of rain.

The scent of budding lilacs

Sweetly touched by sun again.

I miss you most when lilacs bloom

And summer’s in the air.

Traces of a season spent

With one another there.

I miss you when the days are long

And nightfall fills the room.

But the times I miss you most

Are when the lilacs bloom.”

I wrote that poem for my grandparents many years ago. Whenever it is lilac-blooming season...i always think of them. I'll tell you why...
There used to be this really beautiful lilac bush in front of their home. Whenever we went there to visit during lilac season..the scent of those lilacs would follow us through the front door and into the house. I loved it. When it was time to leave, my grandmother would always let me cut a bouquet of them...and she would wrap them in tinfoil for the ride home. I kept them long after they dried up and died because they still smelled so beautiful. When my grandparents had to move into an elder housing center, i missed that ritual so much. I asked my parents if we could plant a lilac bush near our front door and we did. But..by the time it grew to the point where it really bloomed, my grandparents had both passed away and i had left for college. On one of my  visits home during Lilac season...i cut a bouquet of them, wrapped them in tinfoil  and borrowed my dad's car to make the long trek to the cemetery to visit them. It became a ritual for me whenever i was home during that time of year. Years later, when my husband and i were looking for our first home, we came upon an old colonial set on a corner lot. We did the "walk through" and checked out every nook and cranny but what "Sold" me on the house was when i looked out the dining room window and saw the Lilac bush in the backyard. It was absolutely beautiful and...as luck would have it...in full bloom! I took it as a sign from above that we would have many happy years in this home and so we bought it. We still live here to this day. Unfortunately, when we were re-locating our driveway from the busy front street to the back...the guys who did the job destroyed my lilac bush. I was devastated and saddened. They took away so much more than my lilacs but...they didn't take away my fond memories of them.  And...to this day..whenever i smell lilacs and see them in bloom i remember my sweet grandparents. I hope you have fond memories of yours.
Avec Amour,


  1. What a sweet poem and story! I am very sad for you that the lilac bush is no more too! It is never too late to plant another one though. We have planted five in the past couple years and I love them! They all had flowers this year. A white one, light lavender, two shades of darker purple and one lacy lavender. My favorite spring flower!!

  2. That's such a lovely story! We left England when I was only 8, just my parents, myself and my older brothe so I missed out on grandparents:( My mom was estranged from her both of her parents so I barely knew them and never saw my dads parents again after we left.
    The scent of things can evoke such powerful memories though! When I smell certain types of plastic it reminds me of getting a new doll for Christmas when I was little and the smell of it when I opened the box.
    Thank you for sharing this! I'm sorry your lilac bush was destroyed but nothing can take away your memories:)

  3. Michelle your poem is so lovely ~ thank you for sharing this wonderful story. While "seeing" something every day is a lovely memory of days gone by it is what is held dear in one's heart that is the most precious memory of all. My heart is full of them and I know yours is too!

  4. simply, beautiful!! thank you for sharing this touching poem and story........excuse me while i search for a tissue to dry my eyes. i hope you plant another lilac bush in loving memory.

  5. Beautiful Post ~ Beautiful Poem, Now go plant several Lilac Bushes.... I say one in each color~

  6. This is such a lovely story...I hope you planted more...

  7. I, too love the smell of lilacs and very much enjoyed your story and poem. Funny how a bush or a smell can remind us of things from our childhood.


  8. Awe, what a sweet story about your Grandparents and their lilac bush! Lilacs are so wonderful, aren't they?

    You tell the best stories, Michelle. You bring back memories for all of us when you tell your life stories. I love it.

  9. Your poem is incredible! Wow, what a gift you possess. :-)

    Thank you so much for entering my book giveaway, good luck!

    All the best,

  10. Sweetie,
    Okay, the post for your sister made me bawl, now I read the lilac bush & it's the BEST ever! Oh friend, you have such a gift for the written word. The poem is wonderful, but the story after, oh I'm just sitting here visualizing it all with tears down my face. Great Job.

  11. This is the sweetest thing ever, mine is honeysuckle and my great aunt jenny.
    Very similar memories.
    Til this day I still can't pass by a honeysuckle bush without thinking of her ,she is 94, and pull a bloom to suck on.

  12. This is a lovely story, what beautiful memories and sentiments it holds. I feel like going out and planting a lilac bush now.
    Thank you for sharing, you write so beautifully.
    Avec Amour to you Sweet Michelle .
    Donna xx

  13. Michelle this is a beautiful post! What a memory to have stored in your heart of your dear grandparents. I teared up while reading it because my grandparents had a bush growing next to their front walkway and it smelled heavenly everytime you walked by. When we moved to this home I heard that the family living in my grandparents home were going to remove the lilac bush and I asked if I could come and get it to plant in my own garden. It had been planted by my great-grandmother and I wanted to save it if I could. It now blooms for me here in my own garden and the blooms smell even sweeter than I remember as a child. Your poem is so beautiful, and I loved every word!
    Thank you for making me remember today.

  14. Oh I adore lilacs so much that I painted my guest room a pretty lilac shade.

    Thank you for your kind comments on Marty's blog.


Taking the time to share your thoughts...your words...and your inspiration fills my soul....Merci.