Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mother's Day Dogwood

As spring has rolled around here in Kosovo, I have found myself really homesick. Not because I am not happy here. I am. But Spring is my favorite season, and I miss my yard.

When we moved into our house in July of 2014, I set about making it a home even though I knew we would move in exactly one year. Folks wondered why I was investing so much energy, but it was because I knew we would likely return after two years, meaning two years of growth to all the plants and trees I planted.

Two years for the azaleas to remind me of my grandfather's yard, which was full of him (boy do I wish I had inherited his green thumb!). Two years for my butterfly bush to attract all the little flutter-bys.

And two years for my dogwood to grow.

My baby dog and my baby dogwood
I knew that the moment we had a yard, I wanted a dogwood. They are my favorite tree, and I love to see them growing wild in the South. But in Maryland, you have to hunt for a blight resistant one. After some searching, I finally found one and planted it almost exactly a year ago.

Part of why I love dogwoods, I am certain, is how much my mother loved them.

When I was a kid, and my parents bought their first home, my mother was determined to have a dogwood in our front yard. But of course, her only child was a bit of a tom boy, and much to her dismay, she planted it in a perfect spot in our front yard to serve as first base in our kick ball games.

Which also means the little thing never stood a chance, and broke after one too many times of being grabbed by a runner trying to be "safe."

I don't think she ever managed to have a dogwood live there.

So I hope mine lives for her in our yard in Maryland.

You see, this year is my 19th Mother's Day without her. July will make 20 years since she left us, way too soon.

It never gets easier.

And so this Mother's Day, I hope if you still have your mom, you hold her close. I hope you call her often and visit her often. When she is gone, nothing will fill that hole.

And if you see live in my neighborhood and see my dogwood, think happy thoughts that this one makes it.

For my mom.

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