Saturday, May 1, 2021

Romance & Roses by @JoanReeves #RomanceGems

"A mother's love is like an everlasting bed of roses that continues to blossom." —Ellen J. Barrier

Giveaway Alert: Details in Post.

Moms, love, and roses. Those 3 seem to go together, don't they? When children grow up, they tend to send Mom flowers—usually roses—for Mother's Day.

Imagine how surprised I was to learn that roses aren't the officieal Mother's Day flower.

That honor goes to the Carnation. I've always liked carnations for their fresh, clean scent, but I don't think many moms get bouquets of carnations rather than roses.

Why Carnations?

There's a simple reason carnations are the official flower of Mother's Day. That lovely cut flower was Anna Jarvis's mother's favorite flower.

You're probably saying, "Who's Anna Jarvis?" She's the woman who lobbied for a national day to recognize the hard work and sacrifice of mothers everywhere. 

When she first started her campaign to designate a Sunday as Mother's Day (1907), she sent white carnations to her family’s church in Grafton, West Virginia, to be distributed to the congregation.

Over the years, white carnations came to symbolize mothers who had passed away.

Red or pink carnations were adopted as the flower given to a living mother as a symbol of love and gratitude.

Where I lived as a child, it was popular to wear a carnation to church on Mother’s Day.

In 1914, Woodrow Wilson finally signed a proclamation declaring the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day. This special day is now celebrated in more than 40 countries.

(Read more about the History of Mother's Day.) 

Romance for Mom

Something else Mom would like for her special day is the leisure time to read. Since the Romance genre comprises the vast majority of books that are sold, Mom probably likes to read Romance.

Give her books in her favorite genre. Even better, give her books AND a few hours or an entire day to do nothing but read! Now that's a gift any woman would like.

Random Draw Giveaway

Leave a comment with your email addy written out.

No question to answer this month. Instead, share a special memory of your Mom with us or just tell us her first name or nickname.

Prize is 1 free copy of April Fool Proposition for Kindle.

Drawing open until May 7 when winner will be selected and notified by email.

What will Brenna do when she learns her friend's mom, a noted romance author, has set her up with Travis, the man she thinks is pretending to be her lover? Will Travis settle for being a pretend lover? Will Brenna realize she needs to live her own life and stop mothering her siblings?

April Fool Proposition only 99¢ at Kindle.

Romance Gems Blog Update

As you have surmised, our theme this month is Romance & Roses for Mom

You'll be treated to posts about romance novels with moms as heroines or sidekicks or maybe posts about being a mother/motherhood.

Sharing Memory of Mom

My mother was a young adult in WW2. She grew up in the era of red lipstick, seamed nylon stockings, and hair always styled.

My mom never went anywhere without her hair fixed and her lipstick on.

This is bittersweet. I'm crying as I write this. The night my older brother and sister-in-law had to drive my mother to the hospital, she made them stop a block away so she could put her lipstick on.

She passed two weeks later.

When the funeral home "prepared" her, Mom's hair stylist did her hair, the makeup artist at the funeral home did her makeup, but she did not put lipstick on Mom.

That night at the wake, I was upset when I saw she wasn't wearing lipstick. My sister-in-law and my girl cousins formed a circle around me and my mom. I pulled my lipstick out of my purse and applied lipstick for Mom because I knew she wouldn't even want to go to Heaven without her lipstick on!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, step-moms, foster moms, and women who fulfill that caring, giving, loving role in someone's life.

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  1. I love the story about your mom. The 40s were a stylin' time, weren't they? I also didn't know about the carnation, which I actually favor over roses because of their versatility and the fact that they're almost always not expensive. :-) Wonderful post, Joan.

    1. Thanks, Liz. Yes, the 40s were amazing years. My mom worked in a plant that made cannon shells for the war effort—and she went to work every day with her hair styled and her lipstick on.

  2. What a wonderful story about your mom's lipstick! I'm so glad you did that for her.

  3. Terrific post. Thanks for sharing memories of your mom.

  4. You made me cry, Joan, as I read this to my family. What a beautiful story! Happy early Mother's Day, all!

    1. Thanks, MJ. Early Happy Mother's Day to you too.

  5. What a sweet, poignant story about your mom, Joan! My mom only wore lipstick if she was going out, but that's because she was so thrifty she made a tube last as long as possible. One thing she always did was use cleansing cream before she went to bed. She was blessed with a beautiful complexion. Only a few times can I remember her saying, "I was so tired last night I didn't even cream my face."

    1. My mom did that too, Caroline. She was still beautiful in her eighties. I should have adopted that habit. *g*

  6. This is the best story, Joan. How a simple act showed how much you loved your mom. And your cousins were there to support you. Happy Mother's Day, Joan. I'm sure your mom is smiling down on your as you wrote her story.

    1. Thank you, Nora. Happy Mother's Day to you too.

  7. My grandmother lived during WWII, and her favorite shade was Instant Mocha. And one day I discovered she had about 50 unopened tubes in her dresser drawer -- all organized very neatly. (She was afraid the color would be discontinued, so she was prepared.) This was a wonderful tribute to the month and the celebration, and what you did for your mother was perfect and sweet. You're a good daughter.

    1. Thank you, Kara. My mom's favorites that I remember were Love That Red, Fire and Ice, and Cherries in the Snow, all Revlon. They all looked pretty much alike. I think you can still buy them today.


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