A Mango for Mother’s Day

We drive through town, dodging stray dogs and fruit carts on this hot Mother’s Day.

A fragrant pink rose bounces in the sunshine of the dashboard.

We stop at a restaurant and park in the shade of a tall mango tree.

Adam runs into Island Chicken Express to order while we wait. And wait. And wait.

Island Chicken Express indeed.

I look through old photos on my phone. The months and years scroll by.

I stop at a picture of Mother’s Day – two years ago.

 A little girl in her favorite blue dress. She isn’t in the picture we took this morning.

A familiar heartache and those familiar questions resurface.

Has anyone told her they love her lately?

Keep scrolling.

Will that sparkle come back to her eyes? 

Stop again.

A photo collage of Mother’s Day cards, delivered by a host of ragged little boys.

Will we always feel the loss?

 “Te amo, Mamá ” and “Feliz Día” on paper hearts glued to popsicle sticks.

Was it all for nothing?

The smiling faces at my door with their hands full of love notes and flowers and mangos and hugs.

My lost boys.

Will they always be lost?

We are separated by a sea now, yet the questions remain.

Have the seeds been choked out?

A mango falls to the ground. The branches shake above us and I look up.

A boy in ragged shorts climbs the limbs, knocking mangos to the ground with a long stick.

I watch for awhile as he purposefully gathers the fruit into a cardboard box.

Do you still have a purpose for us, Lord?

This boy reminds me of so many others.

Will we ever see fruit?

I look back at my photos.

A knock on the window. He stands there with his mangos.

I’ve never seen him before, but I look into greenish-brown eyes and I recognize them.

They look hungry.

They look lost.

He holds out a mango.

“I don’t have money,” I say truthfully.

“Un regalito” he replies. A little gift.

I smile and say a surprised thank you.

I set the mango next to my rose and watch him walk away to sell his mangoes. He looks back and I wave.

The questions remain, but with the gift comes a glimmer of hope. A promise, perhaps, from Someone who hears my questions.

Adam returns, after nearly an hour, with a delicious meal.

Some things are worth the wait.

We drive home, dodging potholes and pedestrians on this hot Mother’s Day.

A mango and a fragrant pink rose bounce in the sunshine of the dashboard.