Note from the author:
I was prompted to write the poem that follows during my grieving process. I recall a day my mom (Nellie) came to Uncle Chris and my house. I was in the front yard watering a small apple tree when she drove up. Only one apple (a small one) was on the tree. When Mom sees the apple, she giggles, shakes, and boldly stumbles out, “That apple is mine!”
I smile, and reply, “It is in my yard. I care for it, so it is going to be mine!”
She giggles some more and with a shaky voice says, “We’ll see.”
I knew there is a story somewhere behind her request just by the way she was acting with her little giggle and shaky voice. So, I ask, “What is it about this apple that makes you want it so?”
She giggles and shakes some more, and replies, “When our family first move from the Sherman, Texas farm to the Denison, Texas farm, there is a huge apple tree on the property. It had only one live branch. On that branch, was one large apple (not quite ripe)?”
Papa tells all twelve of us children, “Do not touch that apple; that apple is mine!”
“But the temptation wears me down. I can’t resist. I climb that tree. I get that apple. I caress that apple. I shine that apple and then I sit under the dying tree and I eat it. It is the best. It is juicy. Never had I tasted an apple so sweet,” my mom says. “The apple on your tree reminds me of that day. I have never told anyone about it until just now. It has been a secret. A secret I have clung to and cherished since my youth.”
Neither of us ate the apple from my tree. Instead, a strong Ridgecrest wind came and blew it away. Only the memory returned so I can share the story with you.
I hope you will enjoy the following poem about my mom,
Nellie Mae Coffin, Smith, De Juan
December 13, 1911 – January 28, 2007
How Will I Be Remembered?
By Trudy A. Martinez
How will I be remembered?
Ninety-five years have flown by since I came to be,
I sat under a dying tree,
Savoring the flavor of an apple
My dad forbade me to eat,
This is one thing I will remember until my dying day,
How stubborn I was,
And how determined I was
To have my own way,
Who’s to say that apple was
NOT meant for me,
I taste the sweet juice of the apple,
When I recall sitting under that tree.
Now that I have passed
How will I be remembered?
A tender touch, a game of Dominos.
A shiny piece of glass?
Or by the taste of life the apple gave to me.
Nothing lasts forever,
Not even me.
The apple tree died and so do we.
But memories live on,
Just the memories,
The memories we share together,
Just the memories of you and me,
Memories live forever when they are savored
Like my apple tree.