Growing Strawberries Again

The bittersweet memories of summer fruits...and motherhood.

Continued from page 2

And I felt her in peculiar ways as well. For at least a year after her death, I'd be looking for some work of literature or reference at home and suddenly discover a funny little book she'd sent me-something I'd completely forgotten. One was a collection of quotes about motherhood that she'd mailed when my elder boy was 20 months old. She wrote inside the front cover: "My love to a very special mother-my very own daughter...How I love you! Always, Mom."

Last year, my husband and I bought a rambling old house with a back yard in need of attention. This is our first spring here, and although I never have enough time, I am desperate to garden. My boys love digging in the mud, pulling weeds and planting flowers with me.

The other day I took my younger son to Home Depot to buy lawn bags and fertilizer and all the things you need for spring gardening. As we browsed through azalea bushes and pansies, weed clippers and grass seed--I spotted strawberry plants.

Touching the familiar three-sprigged leaves, I peeked underneath to see the white buds. I imagined a sunny strawberry patch at the end of the yard. I imagined my boys stealing outside to fill themselves with the reddest, ripest, juiciest berries. I imagined a strawberry pie.

"We're going to grow strawberries," I said to my little boy.

And I gently placed the box of new plants in my cart.

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Related Topics: Holidays, Love Family