Bumblebee

adriana suriano
2 min readMay 14, 2023

My mother passed away July 4, 2019 after a progressive decline from dementia. The only things I remember that first year was a global pandemic kept me home allowing me to sob in my pajamas and uncork a bottle of rosé at 5:01 pm.

Bill’s mother passed several months before. He handled it with grace as he handles most hardships. “My mom is not suffering. She lived a joyful life.”

We planted three rose bushes that year for our moms. My mother’s American name was Rose as no one could pronounce her Italian born name Giovannina. So much more elegant I know. Almost 4 years later there are almost 100 roses between these 3 rose bushes. Fuchsia pink. Peach pink. Fiery red.

In our city apartment we are so beyond lucky to have a balcony that faces the sun more hours than not. I learned to grow sugar cherry tomatoes, dinosaur kale, swiss chard, cayenne peppers from seed by my father. He had over 200 acres of farmland in southern Italian.

It’s warm enough at nights to move all of my potted vegetables outside. I started noticing a queen bumble bee flying so close to my check that I lose it’s view in my peripheral vision. Bumble started visiting me much more. Giving me what almost felt like a kiss on the check and then flying away.

Some days she comes a few times to kiss me on the cheek. Sometimes it takes a week before she returns as I imagine she is kissing my nephews, her sister, my sister, a few friends, and maybe even my father.

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adriana suriano

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.