Vantage Point

Coffee Mom

By Olga Hernandez

It’s finally May again! The flowers are blooming, and vibrant colors are filling the fields. We’re finally over the cold, snowy winter and hopefully almost back to pre-COVID. Mother’s Day is around the corner, which for some of us is amazing, but for others, it’s another hard day. Though it can be hard, this month brings a lot of beautiful memories, memories that live in our hearts forever.  

I remember when I was young, my mother, my sisters and I use to drive downtown for a coffee –  a more than 20-minute drive from the countryside to the nearest coffee shop in town. My mother was and still is a coffee lover. She may not know a lot of English, but she sure knows how to say, “Iced coffee with a little bit of ice, please.”

The drive to town was the best part. We lived in West Valley, which at that time was not much more than fields of apples and a house every couple of miles. On our way to town, we would hold out our hands and let the wind run through our fingers. Generally, we would go out early in the morning, so we could smell the morning breeze, which was a mixture of dirt and hay.

During our drive, we would talk about how school was going for each of us and share a couple of stories. This was our bonding time without the boys. My mother would tell us different stories about her childhood and how she was raised.

There was one story that stuck with me forever and became a tradition for our family to this day. My mother told us that when she was a little girl, she and her sisters always used to give my grandma flowers for Mother’s Day. It did not matter if it was from their garden or bought from a store. She told us that this always made my grandma’s day, and most of the time, they did not have to do so many chores, which, to be honest, I think is the biggest reason they did it.

As they got older, my mother said that receiving flowers became more meaningful. My mother would say, “Once you become a parent, you realize how important your mother is if you did not know before. It makes you appreciate everything she taught you as a child and cherish every moment you have with her.”

My mother says the smile on my grandma’s face each time made it the best part. We continue to give my grandmother and mother flowers every Mother’s Day. Even when the pandemic happened, we found ways to make it possible. To sum it up, it was a ding-dong ditch type of experience.

Now that my sisters and I are all mothers, I can’t emphasize enough how much those long drives in the car, the long conversations and just the time we’d get to spend with my mother means to me. It has helped us construct who we are and made us better.

We have kept the tradition of the drives as well. Now I’m the mom who loves coffee and can’t function without it. Oh! How the roles have changed.

Through these tough times or anytime at all, it’s good to refer to our “Your Emotional Health” presentation through Health AllianceTM that can give tips to help with emotional health as it, too, is important.

If you would like to schedule a Health Alliance presentation or see a full list of our educational program offerings, please contact your local community liaison.

Olga Hernandez is a Community Liaison for Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. Born and raised in the Yakima Valley, she enjoys fishing alongside her husband and three wonderful children, as well as traveling to at least one new place every year.

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