Life & Lemons

Today I'm sending out birthday wishes to my mom.
And to Sally's son Nathan, who likely misses her more than ever on days like today. And I'm thinking about Christopher, a young man who lost his mom a dozen years ago, when he was in first grade. 

This lemon tree that we planted in her memory is thriving, as is he. He visited our campus yesterday because he's a teenage mentor in the Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) program.

When I pointed out to him how fruit-filled his mom's tree is,
I held back tears as I watched him pick two of the lemons.
This young man hasn't had it easy, but he's an example of
resilience and grit. He lives life like his mom did,
with unbridled verve and a big smile on his face.
Seeing him yesterday got me to thinking about this quote:

Simply by looking at Chris, you can't possibly see or feel
the pain that he has endured. The grief. The loss. The loneliness.
But instead of letting it paralyze him or shut him down,
he's using his challenges to help other children,
to nurture their happiness and give them hope. 
Life gave him lemons, and he's making lemonade.

Everyone is facing something.
Wouldn't it make sense to just treat each other
as if ... just in case ... 
with kindness and care?

Birthday blessings, Mom. May you have many, many more.


  1. Happy birthday, Barbara's Mom! You must be overwhelmed with pride. And sending hugs to Chris...how courageous to give to others when it might feel like something's been taking too soon from him. What an inspiration!

  2. That brought tears to my eyes. Wishing your mom a Happy Birthday and remembering when that tree was planted all those years ago. Glad to hear that Christopher is a PAL this year. Also wishing my lemon tree had even ONE lemon on it this year...sigh. We trimmed it back a bit too early, thinking our cold weather was behind us earlier this year!! :)


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