I remember a conversation with Mom one year when I had sent her roses on Mother's Day. I think I must have sent white ones, those being my personal favourite, and she explained that 'technically' (in Southern parlance) white roses weren't appropriate, because they meant one's mother had passed on. I never had heard that before or since, though Sanda from Halcyon Days knew about this tradition (living in the South and all).
For some weird reason while reading Abroad this thought about white roses came to mind, so I looked it up. When reading Abroad (link), for some reason this came to mind, so I looked it up. It would have been better had I given Mom red or yellow roses.
The meaning behind colours of roses doesn't always apply just to Mother's Day, however. According to this source
White roses are sometimes call the "flower of light" and are the bride's flower. They symbolize unity, sincerity, loyalty, purity, and a love stronger than death. White flowers can be mixed with red to emphasize the meaning of love, while white buds are an appropriate gift to a young girl from her father.
This might explain why the inside of Mom's wedding ring (now my wedding ring) says '14K White Rose'. I didn't inherit a lot from Mom that I would have liked to:
she was naturally skinny, having a lanky build and long legs;
she had endless patience;
she was wonderfully artistic, able to do fashion sketches, oil colours, photographic colouring, sculpting and every kind of needlework;
she had beautiful hands
I did inherit her eyes. I'm working on the patience...
And I grow white roses in my garden, though they haven't bloomed yet this year. When they do, I will look at them and remember that "love is stronger than death".