I’ve loved cherry pie every since the first one my mom made for me. We picked sour cherries each summer in Michigan and mom would make the best pies from those cherries. The funny thing is, I can’t seem to find one that tastes like hers. And I’ve searched, believe me, and so has my family.
Last year I finally went back to Michigan to see my family. We tend to see each other during times of stress or for funerals and I needed this visit to just be about spending time with them. I’m pretty sure it had been twenty years since I’d been back and I was excited to see my sisters at the airport waiting for me.
My sister Janet is just a few years older than me, and we grew up sharing a small room on our farm. My sister Linda is fifteen years older than I am and played a very different role in my life. We share the same father but had different mothers. By the time my mom died, Linda was a young mother with two boys of her own, and a third on the way.
Linda’s mother died when she was young and after my mom’s death, she became the one person who could help me. I spent a lot of time at her house helping her with her boys and she helped me grow from a tomboy into a woman. She had a way of saying things that would not only steer me in the right direction, but I’d go there willingly. She was my champion.
After I left Michigan at 18, we would write to each other and send photos. I still have every single note or photo she ever sent me. Whenever I was lonely or confused, I would talk to her in my head. I would hear her voice telling me everything would be okay and she was always right.
Now I get to talk to her all the time and we text back and forth keeping up with each other’s daily lives. I keep every single text she sends and she is still my crusader. Sometimes her texts make me cry because I feel so much unconditional love from her. I felt that same love the moment I saw her at the airport.
After leaving the airport we went to Linda’s house and I felt like I was home. The three of us girls stayed up late every night chatting and we’d get up early each morning to have coffee together. We would walk around the property with our coffee cups looking at the flowers and talking and laughing.
I cherished my few days in that house filled with lace curtains and silk flowers and love. On my last night there Linda’s husband, George made us all dinner and then placed a cherry pie and a fork in front of me.
And in that moment, it tasted just like Mom’s.