Essays,  Garden tour

May Day memories

“May, more than any other month of the year, 
wants us to feel most alive.” 
~Fennel Hudson

Our magnolia in May / Cindy La Ferle

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May Day was one of Norma’s favorite holidays. Continuing a tradition started by her mother, my dear friend would leave a basket of flowers, a beautiful plant, or a small present on the porch steps of her loved ones every year on the first day of May. 

While she intended to surprise us — which was part of the annual tradition — I recall at least one morning when I spotted Norma sneaking up to the doorstep with her May Day gift while her husband, George, waited patiently in the car. Every year, the surprise was different; but always given with love.

I still miss her. Norma was closer to my mother’s age than mine when we first met at church nearly 25 years ago. Her warmth and caring, as well as her wisdom and guidance, supported me through some challenging times, including my two hip replacement surgeries and the onset of my mother’s dementia. Every woman needs a role model like that.

Even when she was battling terminal cancer, Norma faced her own difficulties with grace and optimism. I believe she celebrated every day that she was given, and I see her spirit in every spring plant that’s blooming today. ~Cindy La Ferle

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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