My mother died in June, and mostly I'm doing okay. I miss her, but am happy she's no longer suffering. And I feel strongly, in so many ways, that she's still with me. When I encounter a dilemma, her voice emerges in my head offering sound suggestions. Or I notice I'm doing something in a particular way, and remember that she is the one who taught me.
But there are hard days, too.
My mother loved fruit. She always had a small container stashed in her bag full of grapes, watermelon cubes, an apple, an orange, a persimmon or bosc pear... These were her favorite snacks and she ate with great pleasure. But no matter how much she relished every bite, she always offered to share...
Certain types of fruit are available all year round while others are available only for a few months during a particular season. One my mother's favorite fruits which first appeared in stores a few years ago was sumo-citrus -- a hybrid of satsuma tangerines and navel oranges. The first year they appeared, this type of citrus could only be found in March + April; but now that the orchards have matured, sumos are available from January-May. When they came back in season each year and I first spotted them, I would call my mother and tell her the happy news -- "they're back!" And so a few weeks ago, when sumos first appeared again, I reached for my phone...
There are stars up above,
so far away we only see their light
long, long after the star itself is gone.
And so it is with people that we loved --
their memories keep shining ever brightly
though their time with us is done.
But the stars that light up the darkest night,
these are the lights that guide us.
As we live our days, these are the ways we remember.
-- Hanah Senesh (translation by Jeffrey Klepper)