When life gives you strawberries ……

IMG_0296IMG_0296Last summer, I ordered freshly picked strawberries from a farm. When I picked them up and tasted one I felt instant gratitude for how delicious it was. I do not recall enjoying strawberries that tasted that great for over 25 plus years. The place where I enjoyed some like that was when my now-101 year old grandmother grew them in her very own garden. Sweet memories!
On that particular warm and sunny summer day, I decided to go see my grandmother and bring her some of those delicious fresh berries. She lives in a nursing home; she’s frail, weak and quite blind. But she still remembers and spoke of times and things from long ago. It was wonderful to visit with her. I washed and cut up the berries and helped feed them to her. She could do it herself a bit. Although, there were fewer struggles for her if I fed her. I was honored to do that for her. She delighted in how delightful they tasted. She definitely loved them.
I couldn’t help but smile and recall the days so long ago when she was fiercely independent and the “toughest” and one of kindest woman that I know. She had the best sayings and greatest stories. Imagine the changes she has seen over the years. She’s had a hard long life with many good times and many sad and hard breaking times too. Her attitude was her best ally and her faith. She ate well and worked tirelessly every day. We are all blessed that she has and is with us still. It’s sad to see someone so energetic aging and knowing one day she will be gone. I will forever remember the “good old days” and be grateful for the sweetness that she brought our family.
As I continued on my journey home, I dropped off some flats of berries at my Dad’s and Step Mom’s for them to enjoy as well. They so often give to us. I thought it would be nice to give them some of their sweetness back. Clare makes great jam!
I then hurried to visit my friend in the hospital. Her health condition wasn’t good so they said. In my heart of hearts I refused to believe it could be as bad as they said. She was only 50 years old. She had so much more living to do. How do you ever say good-bye to someone you love? Adore? And have shared many laughs and good times? I couldn’t let go…I refused to believe that a miracle wouldn’t happen. I’ve read too much about miracles. I believed in them. She believed in them too. She deserved one. She was one of the most beautiful, loving, kind, generous individuals that anyone could ever meet.
I brought her some strawberries too. She loved how they tasted too…but even more so during that week, her father brought her the party sandwiches that he made for her every year since she was a little girl for her birthday. She was thrilled to be able to see them and loved how decadent they tasted. More sweet memories! Bittersweet too! We didn’t get our miracle. I never got to say good-bye. I’m sure I couldn’t have anyway.
Life makes me think about death and death makes me think about life. The days and years go by in a blink and at times it seems like life stands still. Memories of long ago feel like yesterday and it seems impossible that someone I’ve loved could really be gone forever. This past year a lot of my favorite earth angels passed away. Not good..not sweet!
I have to focus on the fact that l’ve been blessed to have had so many memories, so many good times and so so much laughter in my life. To focus on the sadness makes me want to with draw and be angry at the world. It often doesn’t seem fair or just at times. I try to find the good in things so when looking for the good, I realized something last week that made sense to me.
Clare, my Step Mom that makes awesome and delicious jam brought me some homemade strawberry jam from the berries from summer. Right away, I thought…..ah ha….when life gives you strawberries make jam.
I couldn’t have the strawberries back, nor have the good part of summer to stand still forever, nor can I have my friend, Marianna and others that have left this earthly world back…But I can chose what I do with my berries….my memories….turn them into jam…into thoughts that make me happy, thoughts that bring me my smile. No things will never be the same….but they can be ok…even good!
We always have to live each day to the fullest and make the best of things as they are.
When life gives you strawberries –make jam. You can turn anything negative to something good. A co-workers mother recently passed away. I thought of all the traditions and things she learned from her mom. Her mother taught her how to cook all sorts of Italian food. I instantly thought…yep when life gives you tomatoes make sauce!
Whatever life gives you…make the best of it!
To your health and happiness,
Sheena
P.S. Treasure the memories-Carry on traditions- Remember and Smile! Love is forever!