The Inevitable

To many, today is election day or for Connecticut kids it means a day off school. To me, November 4th will forever be a difficult day as it is the day my mom died from cancer. In Chinese culture, you don’t talk about death because it’s bad luck. If someone’s sick and you try to discuss getting their affairs in order or try to say goodbye, the Chinese view it as a jinx. But the truth is: death is inevitable.

What I’ve found most interesting about death is the various ways people mourn. I think it’s safe to say that most visit the cemetery, put flowers on the gravestone, and pay their respects by saying a prayer or sending well wishes. But what if you don’t have a cemetery to go to?

I’ve started my own tradition to honor my mother by planting a tree in the yard on the anniversary of her death. It serves several purposes but mostly, it allows me to do something for this person I love so much, miss so dearly, and think about everyday. She continues to inspire me still today and every time I look at the trees I planted for her, it reminds me of everything that she taught me.

Today, I planted a Honey Maid Holly. (It gets tricky finding a plant in November that will survive the winter.) I chose a spot where it can be seen from the road so in the future, I will always be able to drive by and take a look at mom’s trees.