After my mom passed away in 2005, we were sorting through her things and I found a book that I had given her for Mother’s Day. It was called “Harvest of Bittersweet” by Pat Leimbach, who was a farm wife and mother just like my mom and me. My mom was not an avid reader but I thought she would like this book because Pat Leimbach was from Ohio and because she wrote about the beauty and trials of being a farm wife. I knew my mom could identify.
So I kept the book and even read it again. I placed it on my bookshelf and there it stayed collecting dust. Each time I would clean the bookshelves and try to downsize the number of books I had kept over the years, I would pick it up and almost pull it from the shelf to pass on to someone else. But something always made me keep it. My mom didn’t keep everything I had ever given her, but she had kept this book. So I hung on to it.
A couple of weeks ago, I became involved in a cleaning frenzy with out of town visitors expected and my house still in a mess with kitchen remodeling and no kitchen sink. Of course I invited everyone for lunch (did you ever cook for a crowd without a kitchen sink?)
In the midst of this frenzy I decided the bookshelves looked a little messy so I sorted and dusted and finally decided to get rid of the book I had given to my mom. I figured we had both read it at least once so it was time for someone else to enjoy it. It was tossed into a plastic bag full of other books I decided I could live without and taken to the community center where I volunteer each week. It was out of sight, out of mind. I probably would have never thought of it again.
I returned this week to my volunteer position and was greeted by the thrift shop store director, who told me a friend who also volunteers there had bought a couple of books for me and had left them on the desk. I eagerly reached in the bag, and found…. “Harvest of Bittersweet” along with a note that read…”Harvest…..” the rural answer to Erma Bombeck – pointers for your book.”
I laughed and thought – what a crazy turn of events. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered about it. Mother’s Day has been a difficult holiday since mom has passed. Funny how this book came back to me the week before Mother’s Day. It all seemed rather curious, rather transcendental.
I am keeping the book.
* for Myra