A Bittersweet Mother’s Day

IMG_1026 Mom in Catoctin Mountain
It’s Mother’s Day 2015. We drove by Catoctin Mountain, Maryland. It’s a verdant late spring with a balmy bathed-in-the sunshine day. It is a bittersweet Mother’s Day for me. Mom and I used to come to Fredrick in the fall to pick apples and other fruits from the many orchards in the area. Local small farms would sell their preserves, honey, and home-made pies. The trees were so laden with fragrant apples that the branches would almost touch the ground in some parts. The bees were kissing the sweet nectar of rotting apples on the ground and the apple cider dripping from the barrel’s spout outside. If you were there, samples of cider were free for the taking.
IMG_1051 We were so happy roaming through the orchard, a precious moment in time, taking the scent of soil into our lungs, overwhelmed by the breathtaking beauty of the mountains in the distance set against a blue sky. We were so blessed to be alive to enjoy such abundance. It reminded us of the days when Mom’s life was dependent on the farm, the growing seasons, and the back-breaking garden work. To me, it was memories from another life of my grandparents’ existence, especially Grandma Elena’s, toiling in the fields from sunrise to sunset, the smell of freshly plowed dirt, of cow manure, and all the chicken running around freely all day, the eggs we picked in the chicken coup, the cats, the fleas, the ducks, and Granddad’s rabbits in their wired enclosures.
On this Mother’s Day Mom’s memories run together, past and present, near and far. She still knows who we are but the fond and clear memories together remain only in my mind. She weaves new stories every day to occupy herself but I ache for my Mom and our real stories together. For now, I can only give her the comfort of a hug, my precious time, and her favorite food or bread. Her eyes light up with joy when she tastes cornbread. “I’ve never had such delicious bread before,” she says. I sigh and nod my head. I have my Mom today to cherish and give her a hug. It is more than a lot of people have at the moment, who longingly wish they could see, kiss, and touch their mom’s hands and face one more time. Life is joyous and cruel at the same time but definitely worth living to its fullest. There are so many blessings we sometimes fail to notice or remember until they are no longer here.

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