May 10th, 2020 is Mother’s Day. For our owners, it will be the first year that they will not be able to spend part of the day with their own mother, Corry, as she went to her Eternal Glory in September. Yes, there will be tears, but there will also be joy in knowing that she is happily reunited with their dad after so many years apart. Corry was very beloved by her family and her customers and this spring we have had many customers share their memories of her with us and we appreciate all the stories and memories that have been shared.
Corry came to the United States after marrying Dutch and how brave she must have been to leave her family, friends, and home country behind to cross the ocean on a boat to start a new life in a foreign country. Jerry and Frank (co-owners of Dutch’s Greenhouse), were her first two children, followed by four more. When we think about how hard it must have been to raise a large family without having her own mother close for guidance and help, or even just for a break to go grocery shopping, I am personally amazed at what a wonderful job she did. She raised her family while helping grow a successful business in south Wichita. She passed her knowledge and business values on to Jerry and Frank, as well as her love of growing beautiful plants, and they carried on the business after the loss of our co-founder, Dutch, in 2002.
When Corry’s children were smaller, international calls were expensive so most communication was done through letters that sometimes would take weeks to travel across the ocean from Holland to the United States. Visits to Holland, or having family visit the United States, was a very rare occurrence, but one that was very treasured. How many of us take for granted that we can pick up the phone and actually Facetime with our mother’s today? Travel is much easier today and communication is not nearly as difficult as it was over 60 years ago.
Corry loved being a grandmother and having the little ones come to visit her. For many years, every Sunday we would stop at Grandma’s house after church to spend time with her while the guys were out watering in the greenhouse. She loved spending time with them, whether she was reading to them, playing games or putting puzzles together, or giving them snacks. She loved taking them out to the greenhouse and letting them help her by putting soil in the pots and planting flowers. She passed her love of growing beautiful flowers and plants on to many of her grandchildren and many of them garden today and remember her fondly as they tend their gardens.
Most summers, several of the grandkids would spend part of several weeks “washing flats”, followed by a dip in the pool at Grandma’s house and the pizza party when they were finished for the summer was always an event they looked forward to.
Some of our children’s fondest memories are of going to Grandma’s and enjoying a treat of Dutch toast or windmill cookies. For those of you who don’t know, Dutch toast was bread or toast spread with butter and sprinkled with Chocolate Hagel. When we have gift exchanges at Christmas, a gift bag with Chocolate Hagel and Windmill Cookies is the most sought after gift by the kids and grandkids. The kids loved when a shipment of Chocolate Hagel would come in and Grandma would send a box home.
Tomorrow will be a hard day for Jerry and Frank, as well as their siblings, but they cherish the memories of the life they had as a family. Their family unit will continue to be strong as they remain united in love, a love that their mother taught them to share with each other, and their own families.
We wish all mothers a blessed Mother’s Day. For those of you experiencing it for the first time without your mothers, we wish you comfort and peace, and understand that we are experiencing the same loss, but we know that she is smiling down on us from her special place in heaven.