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Red/White Roses on Mother's Day

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#1 Giraffe



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Posted 28 April 2010 - 08:03 AM

Growing up in Fort Worth and going to church with my family on Sunday mornings, my father and I wore roses on our lapels on Mother's Day. He explained to me that I wore a red rose because my mother was alive, while he had to wear a white rose because his mother was deceased.

I presume this practice is still going on. I no longer attend church regularly. I can't remember if women and girls did this as well, or if they did something slightly different.

Bob Ray Sanders wrote a column for the _Star-Telegram_ some years ago that I clipped and saved in my scrapbook. It's called "I Long to Wear a Red Rose on Mother's Day." His mother had passed away not long before and he would have pinned on a white rose for the first time... but he just couldn't do it. I still tear up every time I read it.

This past Sunday morning I was helping my next-door neighbor with some yard work and we got to talking about rose bushes. I mentioned the red/white-rose Mother's Day tradition and she surprised me by saying she didn't know what I was talking about. She grew up on Long Island and it appears that tradition is unknown there.

So, I'm wondering how widespread this custom is. Is the red/white rose tradition strictly a Texas or Southern thing, or is it confined to just Baptist churches, how long has this practice been going on, and how did it get started?

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