I spent the first Mothers' Day in a very long while with my family. A very good day. I did forget the memory card for my camera, so no pictures (something ironic about that.)
Some families have a glue that holds the family together and that's my mom. Family is uber important to her and she makes sure to get us together as often as feasible. She includes family of family that might otherwise be isolated - relations by fellowship rather than blood. She puts out an ordinary meal that is special because everyone contributed something, even if it's a hearty appetite. The television doesn't get turned on because we're too busy yakking. She is the one who has cherished pieces of battered notebook paper covered in painted macaroni. We talk about everything from Dancing with the Stars to medieval English politics. At some point or another each of us can talk and each can listen.
We used to take a walk around the yard after dinner and we did tonight. It was a little sad because it was so changed. The last of the Russian olive trees died and needs to be cut down. The grape arbors my dad cherished and I labored over are gone. I won't miss the work but I will miss the grape jelly and the piece of my father that they contained. A corner of the yard is overgrown and the grass has died under the shade of evergreens. An apple and a pear tree survive and are very green. I wonder if there will be fruit this year. I've made a lot of applesauce and canned pears. My dad planted a little grove of trees for his own little retreat that he never used. The trees are now huge and when you walk into the grove the bustle of the suburbs is subdued. There's nowhere to put a hammock, though. I wonder if he would have liked it.
Some things are the same. Some are better. The little house my dad built for us is still there, even if I think it's held together with paint. The Christmas trees we planted are bigger than the house. The lawn looks great - which it never did when I cut it, let me tell you! The sweeping steps from the driveway to the front door are being replaced because even railroad ties will rot given enough time. There are flowers on the deck and by the mailbox - I hope the mailman isn't allergic to bees.
Wherever Mom is is a piece of home. I'm very lucky because both of mine are still together. Mom is the same as ever - the years have been very kind. It must have been a virtuous character or all that clean living or something but she hasn't aged in 20 years. I'm very happy to be home and very blessed.
Happy Mothers' Day! Here's to mine!