Thank you to the community at All Saints, Hillsboro for contributing this reflection and sharing the history of the Mother’s Tree.
Mother’s Day at All Saints has always been a joyous occasion, highlighted by a potluck brunch prepared by the men and children in the congregation.
For some, however, the occasion is bittersweet. The remembrance of mothers – and mother figures – who have passed away, led to moments of private sorrow and grief that no amount of celebration could overcome.
Two parishioners channeled these feelings into creating the Mother’s Tree Contemplation Garden in the All Saints back yard, a peaceful and serene place to honor those memories.
Melissa Knotts (who was mourning the passing of her mother Libby, a beloved member of the parish) and Alice Liddell teamed up on the concept, which included a decorative bench, a dedicated area of flowers and trees, and a plaque honoring important women in the lives of church members, be they mothers, grandmothers, aunts or influential mother figures.
Melissa and her sister Mary Beth generously donated the bench and Alice (with husband Blaine) provided flowering trees. Names to be engraved on the plaque, as well as donations towards the project, were coordinated by parish administrator Steve DeSanctis.
Several other parishioners, including Scott Smith, Jack Thornton, and Barb and Charlie Hopewell donated money, time and talent in installing the bench, planting, and upkeep of the area. Our former rector, Rev. Karen LaJoy Smith, held a blessing ceremony at the groundbreaking.
The beautiful plaque created by Award Specialties in Hillsboro will be mounted nearby, with room to add names every year around Mother’s Day.