The Meaning Behind "Lilacs in Paradise"

Photo by Brigitte Tohm, sourced via Unsplash!

Photo by Brigitte Tohm, sourced via Unsplash!

Today I have a little storytime for you lovelies. Here goes.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what to call my site- I thought about what I wanted to blog about, the expectations my readers might have, and what I stand for as a person. Ultimately, I realized I wanted my site to be a cheerful place to learn and share about life, sustainability, and herbalism.

From there, it was easy. I named my site for my grandpa Don. My mom was 16 when I was born, so I spent a lot of time with my grandpa when I was little.

My grandpa is my biggest hero, and not just because he spoiled me as a kid. My grandpa has been through some really tough times, but he was brave enough and strong enough to pull through them. He even had the courage to right any wrongs he did along the way- even those really hard ones involving the people closest to him. He's the kindest person I know and he's always there for people in need. I know our family sometimes says he gives too much of himself for others, but that's just who he is. He has a big heart, and six rescue animals later I'm happy to say I think I may have inherited that particular trait from him.

I remember dealing with some silly middle school friend drama and telling my grandpa about it. I didn't feel comfortable talking with my mom about it (no offense mom, love you!), but when I brought things up with my grandpa he always knew just what to say. He gave me the best advice and he helped me to be patient and kind. He never once made me feel like my problems didn't matter because I was young. He just listened to me and shared his wisdom in a way that I could understand.

I also admire how willing my grandpa is to do his part in this world. I remember seeing him pick up litter around our dingy apartment buildings when he went outside- never because anyone was watching or because it was his mess, but because he would rather help out a little than act like something just isn't his problem to deal with.  We never left a mess at our table, and when we went out to eat, my grandpa made a point of teaching me to tip our servers. Not a calculated tip for the sake of being polite, but a genuine tip to thank them for serving us so well.

I was very young, but I remember bits and pieces of those early days with him. I remember watching Blue's Clue's with our bloated bellies together in his recliner, chasing stray kitties, and taking four-wheeler rides! I also remember watching Meerkat Manor with him every morning before school. That was the best. I remember singing Eight Days a Week in the car with him and I remember him telling me a hundred times that he was older than dirt. I totally believed him for a while there.  

We had a lot of fun. Also, he always brought me candy- there were always suckers or gummies in his flannel shirt pocket for me. Thanks for starting an addiction that will probably stick with me my entire life grandpa. *wink*


Those early days with my grandpa are like a little paradise in my memory. He had lilac bushes outside his front door. Lilacs are my favorite because every time I smell them it's like I'm right back at my grandpa's front door.

Lilacs in Paradise- a name that will always remind me to be patient, humble, and kind, and to do my part to make the world a better place.

Grandpa, if you're reading this I want you to know that you are my biggest hero and I love you with all my heart. You've made such a difference in my life, you've taught me what it means to be a good person, and I think of you every single day. Thank you so much. I'm sorry if I've forgotten to tell you how blessed I feel to be your granddaughter.

Thank you all for reading.

Have the best day!

Jessica Peña