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Honoring Mom

Coping with the loss of your mother is difficult at all times, but perhaps even more so around Mother’s Day. While always reminded of her in daily occurrences, the inundation of commercial reminders at this time of year can be a glaring and painful reminder of that loss.

It can be important to find special ways to remember your mother and keep her memory alive – both on this difficult day and throughout the year. There are many ways to honor you mother, from planting her favorite flowers to spending the day in an activity you enjoyed together. At Foxfield, we host a Bird Watch on the day prior to Mother’s Day so that our families can come out and enjoy the peace of the Preserve.

In looking through old articles, I was once again moved by one young woman’s unique tribute to her mother which was brought to my attention in a blog by Akron Beacon Journal columnist Mary Beth Breckenridge (as well as her understandably proud father). In her review of a book called “Taming Wildflowers,” Mary Beth ran across the beautiful photo and moving account of Dana Buzzelli’s memorial to her mother, Laura, who was buried on the Foxfield prairie in 2009. Like Mary Beth, I was stopped in my tracks by the delicate tattoo across Dana’s back which pictures some of the wildflowers now growing on her mother’s grave.

“My connection to wildflowers came from my mother, who fostered in me a love of the earth and the natural world,” Dana wrote, “She was a self-taught gardener and naturalist. Growing up, our bookshelves were loaded with wildlife and wildflower field guides. My mother home-schooled us so we spent lots of time creek-walking, hiking and exploring Cleveland’s extensive park system. My mom battled cancer for almost a decade. Before she died she chose to be buried completely naturally at Ohio’s only green burial site, Foxfield Preserve. She is buried in an Ohio prairie ecosystem and has completed the cycle of life and returned to the Earth. The wildflowers keep her with me always. I plan on adding to them annually in memory of my mom.” – excerpt from “Taming Wildflowers” by Miriam Goldberger.

To paraphrase Mary Beth: Dana’s tattoo is keeping alive her mother’s commitment to the Earth and sharing it with others. A lovely way to honor her mother and keep those memories close. As I work out on the Preserve now, I see their love for each other in every flower that blooms on the prairie. They serve as a gentle reminder to me that our mothers are always with us.