Blessing in Secret: a May Day Tradition


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Around this time each year I find myself especially nostalgic, particularly missing my late Great Grandma. I remember her skillful paring of apples and pears she grew in her modest orchard each time I fumble to peel one. I recall the fruity array of Crush soda perpetually stocked in her garage fridge each time I pass them in a grocery store. And when I discover a rouge flower sprung from a mystery seed in my garden, I declare it “came up volunteer” and she’s with me.

For generations, my family’s birthed their children young, thus I was blessed to have a close relationship with my great grandmother for most of my life… both our girls even got to know her before she passed. Her mother –my great, GREAT grandmother– was still alive until I was in the second grade.

Grandma Schafer’s birthday was May 1st. May Day! Naturally, she taught her grandchildren the customary traditions of her holiday and together we conspired to bless her neighbors in secret, annually, with flowers from her bountiful garden via a giggly ding-dong-ditch.

This year, though Montana didn’t much resemble the Mays I so fondly recall in Oregon, we still made it a point to share Grandma Schafer’s beautiful legacy of blessing in secret. I won’t spoil what we did by sharing it, as that entirely misses the sneaky point. Without intent of thanks or notoriety, Grandma Schafer was consistently the most humble, considerate, and generous picture of Christ (loving God and her neighbors) from my childhood.


Each of our daughters has a family middle name. Center Sister shares Grandma Schafer’s, in tribute. I pray that each of our daughters would continue her legacy of being a blessing.


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