But as usual, busyness got the best of my best intentions, and two days before Mother's Day I found myself pulling out the generic stationary on which I send “thank-yous” 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.
Thanks mom, for always giving up your “pie.” Happy Mother’s Day. I love you.
A week later 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
My mom’s life had already been on my mind when I got that e-mail. Not that she had been sick or anything tragic. But she had just turned fifty, and I felt like that should have meant something. She had just sent her last child to college. And I felt like that should have meant something too. To me, I mean. I knew it meant something to her. Now that there wasn’t anyone except her and dad to eat pie, I wondered if she remembered what flavor she liked best.
I speculated for days trying to understand the choices she made years earlier, choices between big cities and bright lights, and having me. But speculating was futile. I haven’t had to give up my pie yet and to be quite honest, it’s me who usually takes the biggest piece. I decided to just ask her and so I sent an email. All her reply said was:
Sweetie, YOU were my pie.
To all you wonderful women out there—you who are mothers and daughters and sisters and friends—Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you know how much you are loved, and how invaluable you are.
But mostly I hope you are enjoying every bite of your pie.