Memory Pie - a story about love and mulberries
Our family were on holidays at North Stradbroke Island when I received the call. A woman from Toowoomba had done a Google search for 'mulberries' and the results had lead her to us.
'I don't think we can help,' I said, 'as Toowoomba is just too far out of our delivery range, but I wish you well in your search.'
I suggested she visit her local farmer's market, that maybe, with Toowoomba being just that much cooler than Brisbane, her local season was just about to start.
'Would you deliver to Redbank Plains?' she offered. 'We could come down and visit my daughter and collect them from her then.'
Since covid-19 isolation, our business hasn't delivered there either but she had such a kind voice and I really wanted to help.
'Sure,' I said, 'we can deliver to her there. Let's negotiate an agreeable price.'
Returned from our holiday, the only day I could deliver without disrupting business flow was the Queen's Birthday public holiday, not that I minded. When I arrived, she was waiting there, so excited to see me that she came out to the street to receive her box of frozen mulberries. I confess, I thought she was a little bit crazy.
'Boy, you really love your mulberries!' I said, not quite understanding the significance.
She explained that when she was a child, growing up in Guam, her grandmother would make mulberry pie for the family every year. It was a special recipe, she said.
'My father has terminal cancer, and my daughter is gravely ill, I just want to make grannie's pie for them one last time, while they can enjoy it.'
It was then that I understood the woman's hell-or-high-water enthusiasm for mulberries. Don't we all have childhood memories and family traditions that feed our sense of hope and express our love? I choked back tears and my voice croaked.
'You're making memory pie?' I said.
'Yes, you could say I am. I'm so sorry you had to spend your day off driving these out to us.'
'Your story makes the trip more than worthwhile,' I said, 'and I can't think of a better use for our mulberries.'
I left with a warm fuzzy feeling, hoping that her daughter and father would be comforted to have grannie's mulberry pie one last time. Stories like this make my day to day work satisfying and memorable.
Do you have a special memory food in your family? We'd love to hear about it.