Thursday morning dawned like any other day. The sun was beaming through the window blind and casting streaks of light on the floor beside my bed. Looking at the clock and realizing it was after seven, I jumped up fast to get my day started. The shower woke me up for sure, and after that I had a lot more energy. Breakfast was quick with a piece of toast and a few sips of coffee.
Getting to the office took a little more time than I had anticipated when stopping for gas really threw me off. Traffic seemed heavier and slowed me down a lot. The pile of paperwork on the edge of the desk that I found did not make starting the day any easier. Reports were due today along with a meeting this afternoon in the conference room to which I did not think I was prepared enough to go through with.
What could make this day better?
I walked into the break room to get a cup of coffee when I heard my phone ring from behind me. I sat the empty cup down and went to answer the phone. The person on the other end was not who I had expected it to be. Usually at this time in the morning clients were trying to be the first one to get a hold of me or someone else in the office with a problem to solve. This phone call was from my sister Katie.
"Hello," said Katie. "Just thought I would catch you early this morning to see if you would like to have lunch with me. Are you free about one?"
"Well, I think that would be okay." I answered. I have lots of things going on, but surely I can squeeze in lunch with you."
"Okay," she said. I will stop by and pick you up. Maybe we can lunch at Angie's Place. Today is June eleventh. I thought we could spend a little time together."
What Katie was referring to was that June eleventh was the day of the first anniversary of our mother's death. When she said that, it dawned on me that it was already a year since that fatal day when our mother was taken from us. Two weeks ago I realized that the date was coming up, and promised myself that I would never forget that date. Tears welled up in my eyes and I whispered how much I miss her.
We ended our call, and my mind took me back to that day last year when the accident happened. Mother had been on her way to see a friend of hers that lived in a town just fifty miles away. It was late afternoon when I received the call and could not believe my ears when the officer told me. A truck had veered into her lane on a curve and she lost control of her car hitting an embankment and rolling over. She was dead at the scene. Mother had in the back of her car a small red bud tree that she was going to plant for her friend at her house. On the day of Mother's funeral, her friend insisted that we plant the tree at the graveside, and that is just what we did. The tree was small, but it did bloom again this year and looked so pretty at the side of Mother's headstone. The red bud tree was one of her favorite kinds of tree and she always looked for them in the spring time. She also had three of them in her back yard. Since then her house has been sold and my friends helped dig one of those trees up and plant it here outside my office window so I could see it every day.
Lunch came and went. Katie and I had a wonderful lunch with conversation about Mother. We drove by the cemetery to visit the grave and left some flowers we had picked up after lunch. The red bud tree was leaved out and casting a small shadow on the grave. We knew that someday that tree would be a big beautiful reminder of her love for those trees and also our love for her.
Getting settled back into my office, I sat down at my desk. Picking up the pile of papers to take to the meeting, i took a quick glance out the window at the red bud tree.