For many years, I went back to Kansas on Mother’s Day weekend. My annual gift to Mom was purchasing and planting flowers. One year I gave her a spindly little flowering pear tree. Every spring after that she wrote to let me know when it had started to bloom.

Mom died in 2002, and I haven’t been back to the farm since her funeral. Recently, my brother Larry sent me a photo of Mom’s tree.

Seeing how it had grown and flourished made my heart swell. I recalled how much fun we had each year selecting plants. I remember the feel of the hard earth under my knees and the relaxed and happy conversations we had as she sat in a lawn chair next to me and I dug holes for the tender plants we hoped would survive the heat, the wind, the rabbits, and all the other hardships of a Kansas summer.

Every fall my mother’s flowering pear tree loses its leaves. It appears lifeless and lonely as it stands bare against the harsh Midwest winters. And yet the fact that it comes back every spring taller, fuller, and more beautiful, strengthens my faith in rebirth and renewal. I smile knowing that although Mom’s body is gone, her spirit and the love I feel for her is still very much alive. 

If you have a Mother’s Day memory you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you. Please type it into the comment box below.