Trash Walking

disposables, keepers, treasures

Mother’s Day Balloon

on May 10, 2014

Last spring, I was trash walking along the stretch of beach on Lake Ontario that I have unofficially adopted. Tangled in the bushes at the edge of the beach was this.


It was probably about two weeks after Mother’s Day. The first Mother’s Day that I had not visited my mom with a card or a gift. Mom had passed away in December, and I was really missing her. I might have even been thinking about her at the time, because I do a lot of thinking when trash walking.
I picked the balloon up, and carried it along with the rest of the day’s haul. When it came time to throw it away, though, I just couldn’t. I don’t know why. Other than that it says Happy Mother’s Day right there on its shiny surface, it has absolutely no relationship to my mom. I never gave a similar balloon to her, and I never would have thought of doing so. It was more cards (sometimes homemade) or flowers for my mom. It’s not a pretty artifact. But still, I could not throw it away. It was given to a mother I don’t know, by a child I don’t know, in celebration of this special day. I hope that this mom and child did have a good mother’s day together, and I hope that the balloon release was just an accident. I’m glad that I found it. It’s in the trunk of my car, tucked away with various other bits of debris. I don’t pull it out and think of mom or anything, it just sits there. I think of her every day, and this balloon has nothing to do with that.   I’ll probably throw it out some day, just not today.

(I follow a really great organization on Facebook called Balloons Blow. Balloons Blow was founded and is run by two Florida sisters, who have a deep and lifelong love and respect for the beach, the ocean, and the all creatures who live there. Reading their posts about ocean trash and the harmful effects of balloon releases inspired me to pick up more, and are part of the reason I decided to write about the garbage I pick up.


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