Sunday, June 03, 2007

Monnie's peonies

The peonies that I transplanted from my mother's garden two years ago have bloomed for the first time.



When I saw these full, frilly blossoms, I thought of their connection with my grandmother, Monnie.



Although she looks very solemn in this formal portrait, taken in St. Louis around 1909, I know from her diaries that this lively woman loved playing cards, riding horses, attending theatricals, and socializing with her seven siblings, numerous cousins, and beaux.

Monnie was relatively young when she died from a protracted degenerative illness. According to my mother, my grandfather never spoke about her--"because he loved her too much"--but he would take peonies from my mother's garden to lay on Monnie's grave on their wedding anniversary. I suspect that the story is rather more complicated than that of transcendent love, but who knows?

So now, linking three generations, sixty years, and four hundred miles, I have the same peonies growing in my garden.

3 comments:

Carol said...

Those are beautiful peonies and all the more special because of the family connection. Yes, who knows what really is behind a few sentence in a long-ago written diary?

diana said...

What gorgeous peonies! I'm so glad they bloomed!

Jen Hill said...

This is a gorgeous picture of your peonies and incredible story about your Grandmother Monnie. I love the idea of sharing the same peonies from her garden. Such a romantic story of your grandparents.

Would you mind if I posted this picture on my blog site today?

Please let me know and I will be sure to credit your blog site.

Best,
Jen