When it comes to yard work, there’s nothing that I really dread as much the first mowing of the season. Usually what proceeds it is a whole lot of poop-scooping–the accumulated mess of a whole winter season in which I stayed indoors and pretended that my dog hadn’t been doing his business each time I let him out and quickly closed the door to the chill. But alas, he had been and today was the day of reckoning.
When I finally finished that task, I pulled out the mower and pushed the primer button–and I pushed it again and again and again and again. Finally it sputtered to life without a single heckle from an amused neighbor! As I relished the smell of that fresh-cut grass something dawned on me. The last time I had mowed, way back in August of last year, my mom had been inside, patiently waiting for me to finish up so we could have some fried green tomatoes. But tonight she wasn’t inside waiting.
Six months ago I lost my mom to breast cancer. She had battled an aggressive form of the disease for two years. In her final year, she moved cross-country to live with me and I had the privilege of being her caretaker. I took those days having her with me for granted and it’s in the oddest moments that I am now almost daily reminded that she’s not present here with me…tonight, it was the mower.
Here’s to you, Mom–I’ll get this year’s tomatoes planted soon, I promise.
As an aside, a team has been formed in my mom’s memory for this year’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life in downtown Indianapolis. You can visit the team page here.