I was born precisely nine days before the fiftieth birthday of one of the people I admire most, my maternal grandmother Lillie May Estes. I know this fact very well because she often expressed her disappointment that I didn’t “wait” nine more days to make my entrance. She was, however, pleased that we at least share the same birth month.
Because we share the same birth month, we also share the same birth flower-Lily of the Valley. Long before I knew what a “birth flower” was, I loved Lilys of the Valley. My grandmother loved flowers too, and when I was very young, I thought these tiny little lilys were named after her. As I grew older, I was sure of it.
According to legend, the small white blossoms of the Lily of the Valley symbolize both the tears that Eve cried as she was banished from the Garden of Eden and the tears the Virgin Mary shed at Christ’s crucifixion. They are mentioned several times in the Bible and are known to symbolize purity, humility, joy, sweetness and hope.
Everything about these flowers reminds me of my sweet grandmother, their name, their form and their symbolism. Like the flower that bears her name, my grandmother was beautiful yet strong, delicate yet resilient. She was pure, humble, joyful and full of love.
This little flower symbolizes hope for the second coming of the Savior. My grandmother lived her life filled with this hope and filled with great love for both her Savior and her fellow brothers and sisters.
Like Eve leaving the Garden and the tears she shed that these tiny lilies represent, my grandmother had a difficult life filled with sorrow and hardships and she shed more than her fair share of tears. But my grandmother always knew that this earth life was temporary. She knew that it would end and she would return to live with her Heavenly Father and Savior.
I am grateful that I share my birth month with my cherished grandmother and I am grateful for our birth flower that continues to remind me of her. I am grateful for the example she was to me and the things she taught me. I too know that this life is temporary and one day I will return to my Heavenly Father and Savior and I will see my beautiful grandmother again.