Saturday, March 26, 2016


It’s a lovely spring day with cool temperatures. It’s always cold right before Easter. The dense woods finally lost their dead leaves that had clung, despite very strong winds, to the branches all winter long, like a crispy coat of crinkled browns and beiges. Overnight, they are gone, replaced by green buds and the occasional white and pink wild flowers. The sun is penetrating to the floor, a rare occurrence; the barren branches are casting few shadows. The brave bugs are emerging from their winter slumber.

The birds have been chirping joyously since the last snow had melted. The pond by our house has been visited daily by the same flock of Canada geese, paired up for spring. One couple ventures on our lawn with its winter and lush green grass. I have not seen the deer family coming to graze, I am sure they are finding plenty to eat in the woods; they finally left my chewed up bushes alone. Maybe they will sprout again. One tulip bulb came up and a purple hyacinth is in full bloom.

I am sad that mom is not home to see her beautiful flowers, “her babies” she talked to every day. She is in a sterile hospital, recovering from a stroke. I will push her outside today so she can see the beautiful purple Japanese magnolias in full bloom outside her window.

I’ve thought about life and death a lot lately. It’s not just the dormant nature coming to life again, replacing everything dead with new buds. I thought about our own demise, about human mortality.

It’s been a roller-coaster week, a new baby, a new beautiful life that is here because of us, almost losing my mom the next day, facing my own mortality from unexpected disease, it was too much for anyone to absorb and internalize.

Obviously everybody is going through good and rough times all over the world. Life is precious and a precarious gift that we don’t appreciate and cherish enough. But I see things with more intensity and clarity than ever before.

In two days it will be my dad’s birthday, March 28, he would have been 88 years old, had he lived to such a ripe old age. But his life was cut short at 61 by Ceausescu’s evil communist regime and the lack of medical care under the Castro-style socialized medicine that everyone in the U.S. is now clamoring for.  He died a horrible and painful death, shrinking to a shell of his former self while he was not fed nor given IV fluids in the hospital. Aunt Marcela, his sister, kept him alive with a teaspoonful of broth and water now and then for almost a month.

There is another milestone on March 29, twenty years since I married by wonderful husband, the love of my life. I cannot imagine life without him. And on April 4 is my birthday – I am still on this earth, happy to be alive, and thankful for my blessings from God.

I wished I could have been a writer all my life instead of toiling for the academia that did not care about my dedication to students, the years I spent perfecting my skills and enriching my knowledge that I hope I had passed on to my students.

Tomorrow is Easter – I won’t be able to take mom to church as planned, but I am glad she is still alive and smiling through her sudden disability. She is my Mom who used to move mountains, who climbed on the roof at 72 to sweep dead leaves. Her hand and fingers are now curled, unable to hold my hand, but I can touch her face and she feels my love and kisses.

On this sunny day before the Blessed Easter, thank you, Mom, for being my Mom and for a life of love and precious care to our small family. We love you!

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