I had the best of intentions. I always do. I was going to go to the Hallmark and spend two hours reading each card until I found the perfect one – just like she does for every card-warranting event. In fact I remember when I was seven, lying on the floor of the Hallmark back home, gazing up her legs, certain I would die if I had to wait five more minutes for her to “find the perfect card.”
But as usual, busyness got the best of my best intentions, and I found myself pulling out the generic stationary on which I send thank you’s to clients. Scrambling to google a quote with some ounce of meaning, I carefully wrote:
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. –Tenneva Jordan
Thanks mom, for always giving up your “pie.” Happy Mother’s Day. I love you.
Today I received an e-mail from her. It simply said:
I got your card today! It made me cry! I enjoyed the quote and your sweet note! Life’s short…eat “PIE!” Have a great week! Love, Mama
Mom’s mortality, and her humanity, have been on my mind lately. Not that she’s sick, or dying. She’s not even old for that matter. But she just turned fifty this year, and I feel like that should mean something. She just sent her last child to college. And I feel like that should mean something too. To me I mean. I know it means something to her. Now that there isn’t anyone except her and dad to eat pie, I don’t know if she remembers what flavor she likes best.
Maybe it’s that she’s re-learning herself. Or maybe re-creating herself. Then again, maybe she’s not re-anything, but rather picking up where she left off twenty-eight years ago…
… It’s funny. I sit here speculating, trying to understand. But I’ve never given up my pie. And to be quite honest, it’s me who usually takes the biggest piece. And so I suppose it’s impossible for me to understand until I give my piece up. But then again, maybe that’s what she’s trying to tell me – to keep eating pie. Figure out another way to cut the blasted pastry … but always make sure there’s a piece for you.
I know she doesn’t regret never taking a piece for herself. But I hope now that she doesn’t have to share, that she’s eating it all. The kind she wants, when she wants.
See if you can put that in a card Hallmark!