Farmers Market Update: Purple Mother’s Day

by | May 8, 2011
Flowers for Mom

Flowers for Mom

My mom’s favorite color was purple. And she didn’t just like it, she was obsessed with it. She had purple carpet, purple tupperware, purple contact lenses, you name it.

It drove me crazy, and for most of my life I avoided purchasing anything in purple–even though it’s the official color of my beloved LA Lakers (don’t hate).

Lovely Spring Onions

Lovely Spring Onions

I had already seen enough purple to last me a lifetime, I thought. How could I bear any more?

Beautiful Carrots

Beautiful Carrots

My mom died in 2003 from injuries sustained during a car wreck not far from her home in Southern California. It was just a few days after her 52nd birthday.

I was in Berkeley at the time, working as a research assistant in the same lab where I completed my honors thesis. The call from my dad came in the morning shortly after I got to work. I actually missed it, and had to call back.

Chinese Eggplant & Melon

The first news of the accident was delivered by a stranger, since my dad had already left the office by the time I got the message.

It was almost impossible for me to believe what I heard. My mom had a penchant for exaggerating everything. If she was hungry, it was because she “hadn’t eaten in days.” If she had a headache, it was certainly a “migraine.”



We all learned not to believe anything was as severe as she claimed it was, and the accident felt the same way. It couldn’t be that bad, I thought, it’s never that bad.

Beautiful Turnips

Beautiful Turnips

But it was. I only saw her alive once after that, and what I saw looked nothing like my mother. She was still soft and warm, but was otherwise unrecognizable to me.

Violet Sweet Peppers

Violet Sweet Peppers

My mom only knew me as a student and scientist. In 2003 I hadn’t yet discovered my passion for food, and I know she’d be baffled and delighted to hear I’ve learned to cook.

Purple Garlic

Purple Garlic

She had always been wonderful in the kitchen, and I was fortunate to grow up alongside her adventurous palate and organic ingredients—a remnant from her hippie years in the 60’s.

Audrey II

If my mom ever had the chance to see the San Francisco farmers market, she would be blown away by the intoxicating smells and gorgeous produce.

She would love the vibrant fruits, brilliant greens and, of course, the purple artichokes.

Spring Artichokes

Spring Artichokes

I know she would be proud of me for discovering this place and eating these wholesome foods.

Purple Kohlrabi and Kale

Purple has a different effect on me now. I don’t love it, not like she did, but I cherish it as a gentle reminder of the things she loved and cared about.

Bronx Grapes

Bronx Grapes

When I see purple I am not reminded that she is gone, but that a part of her will always be with me.

Happy Mother’s Day

Jeri Lynn Pino  1951 – 2003

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46 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: Purple Mother’s Day”

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I got chills reading it. I love my dad 3 years ago, and I loved that you wrote “When I see purple I am not reminded that she is gone, but that a part of her will always be with me.” That reminds me of how I feel when I see red birds – it’s like a little nudge.

    I’m sure she would be so proud of you today! *hugs*

  2. Laura says:

    This is a beautiful post. Thank you.

    I am 52.

  3. Very beautiful! Mother’s are very special and sometimes we don’t realize it until they are gone. Thanks @kevinrose for tweeting this!

  4. Chris says:

    Your mom will be proud of you of what you have achieved so far and what you are going to achieve more in the future. Nice dedication.

  5. toffer99 says:

    I’m sorry you lost her at such a relatively young age. Thanks for writing about her so well and movingly, and for all the purple pictures.

  6. I’m at the Salt Lake Airport connecting back home to San Diego and came upon your post from @kevinrose (of course). Im in uniform too and didn’t expect to be brought to tears.

    Lovely integration of purple foods & narrative. This is beyond beautiful. I’m positive that your mom is smiling brightly down upon you both.

  7. Corey says:

    Beautiful post.

  8. Kim Hjakmarsson says:

    Beautiful post – thank you for this. Great pictures!

  9. AJ says:

    So beautiful and touching. Thank you for sharing so much with the world.

  10. Kari says:


    What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. I couldn’t hold back the tears.
    Thank you for sharing..

  11. Barbara says:

    First I must say how sorry I am you lost your mother. Second, what a gorgeous woman was she!!!! Third your photos of the purple vegetables, etc. are magnificent. I am so happy I found your blog. Although I am nowheres near where I can get produce like that, it is a thrill to see it. You are such a lovely young woman Darya.

  12. Cristina says:

    Hugs to you! and so proud of you for sharing. I often feel that those of us who have lost parents at our age are just expected to bounce back and move on, but this is a fantastic reminder that those who are gone are present in all that we do and see because they have shaped it…. even if that isn’t visible to those around us. thanks again for sharing and for being you 🙂

  13. Brittanny says:

    This is a lovely post. Your mother is watching over you now, and she is very proud.

  14. A very real, from the gut, post. I love the way you explained the whole thing. I’m a fan for sure.

  15. Pali says:

    I almost never comment on posts, but i had to on this one. This post is so beautiful. The visuals with the story almost made me cry…

  16. Linda Davis says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful mother. Thank you for sharing this…

  17. iga says:

    what a touching post…and how much more meaning Mother’s day has for me after reading your words

  18. Jonathan Mayhak says:

    Great article.

  19. Thao Hau says:

    Darya, I lost my mom in 2008 to a hit and run. She was also 52 and also not far from her home in Southern California. I definitely got the chills reading this, but like others have said, it is such a beautiful tribute to your mom. I too have discovered new things in my life that I’ll never get to share with my mom, but I always feel like she can see me from wherever she is and that gives me comfort. I’m sure your mom is watching you proudly from afar too.

  20. Shawn says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful and touching post.

  21. Mayse says:

    Darya, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and haven’t commented until now… This post brought tears to my eyes. Your mother was a beautiful woman and she would be proud of what you have accomplished. Thanks for sharing. I am a fan.

  22. Isabelle says:

    What an extraordinarily beautiful post. Thank you for sharing the picture of your mom. She radiates such warmth, beauty and joy of life. I am sure everybody who met her fell in love with her. She was and will always be proud of you.

  23. Cerissa Wagner says:

    My mom died in an accident when I was in college too. I can relate to your sentiments in so many ways. I especially long so share my passion for healthy foods and recipes with her, as day by day I realize how similar my food attitudes are to hers. Like you I feel a part of her will always be with me. No one can ever take away the shared years, influence and love between mother and daughter.

    Beautiful pictures. Beautiful heartfelt thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing.

  24. Cecil Swetland says:

    This is a beautiful post and special tribute to your mom. A glance at her picture is proof that you’re your momma’s girl. You have shared so many poignant insights into your mom. I especially liked reading, “I know she would be proud of me for discovering this place and eating these wholesome foods.” All of us, who’ve read your post, know she would be proud of you for this and much more. Thanks for sharing from your heart and reminding us about the lasting bond between parents and their kids, mothers and daughters. In these special memories you’ve shown that it is a bond that nothing, not even time and space, can ever break.

  25. Neha Tiwari says:

    Beautiful post Darya. I am sorry to hear that your mom isn’t here to share Mother’s Day with you, but I am sure that she would be very proud of you.

  26. Oh Dayra, I didn’t know this about you, it’s so sad, I am sorry for your loss. Such a lovely homage to your mom, I see a lot of her in you. Hope you have a whacking great glass of wine and feel comforted by all the affection I see here just for you. Cheers my friend.

  27. Darya, so sorry to hear about all of this. Beautiful post, though. You’ve truly helped so many people that she obviously did something right!

    “I know she would be proud of me for discovering this place and eating these wholesome foods”

    She’d certainly be proud of just how many people you’ve helped with your writing (myself included!). Thanks for the great site, great photos, great articles on other sites, and excellent post today.


  28. Lillian Sanpere says:

    This post was truly touching. Your tribute to your purple loving mama moved me tenderly. As a mom, I hope my children will remember me the way you did yours. Purple lover here, Lillian

  29. Renzo says:

    beautiful Darya, i didnt know about this and i almost cry because my mom is next to me. so to think one day i could receive that call…i dont even want to think about it and im writting this because you are amazing your mom would be so proud ,i know that, changing other people’s life, like mine, is simply awesome. cheers Darya 🙂

  30. She was so beautiful and you are too. She would be so proud of you. I am so sorry that she could not be with you. Mother’s Day is always a very sad day for me, but for different reasons.

  31. Dina says:

    Thank you for opening up and sharing that touching story about your mother. As a fellow blogger, it is hard to know how much personal information to share and how much to hold back. I still have tears in my eyes and will look at the color purple in a new way.

  32. Chris says:

    Gorgeous! Sweet! Touching! Sorrow–losing your mom so young. Purple reigns!

  33. Lizzie says:

    DP, I’ve always wanted to learn more about your mom, and am so glad that you shared — and in such a wonderful and touching post!


  34. Luci Pino Medler says:

    Darya…You are beautiful, I love you so much!!..These pictures are amazing like you and your Mother…I miss Jeri so much it’s just crazy!!!..She is so proud of you, and so are we. Thank You for making my grief bearable…Aunt Luci

  35. Gary Daugherty says:

    I knew Jeri for a time in high school. (Santiago High in Garden Grove, CA.) She was simply the most beautiful girl in our school. My best friend dated her for a while . . . I was so jealous.
    Gary Daugherty

  36. Sarah says:

    Aw, this brought tears to my eyes. Now, I’ll think of your mom when I see purple foods too.

  37. Debra Oliver says:

    Thank you for sharing, it was loving, touching and real. I wanted to share with you the Facebook message I posted for my daughter on this day. I hope she finds the core of who she is one day like yourself:

    On this mother’s day I reflect the biggest lesson my daughter has taught me in life. Love and caring is a two way street, there have been so many times through the last 22 years that I gladly put my own desires, wishes, and plans with a full heart for love and gratitude to be there for her.

    This relationship has taught me that this type of caring is the foundation to every relationship, obstacle, and disagreement. We have worked through many different points of views, desire, to be there for each other. I am blessed to have been given this gift in life. So, while others others have plans and important tasks – she is there and so am I. This is true love and caring that my daughter reminds me of each Mother’s Day.

  38. You made me cry. I also got that call that you never want to get. My mother dropped dead in her kitchen while clearing the table. My brother was with her. But he said by the time he reached her in the kitchen she was gone. Massive stroke. I never got to say goodbye. What kills me is this. Now who do I call with exciting news, for a shoulder to cry on, for a buck up kick in the butt. Who? It was always Mother. Sob. Miss you Mom until we meet again.

  39. Fadillah A.R says:

    Darya, just looking at your posts and came across this. Such a beautiful tribute to your mother and she sure is proud of you. Purple is now her reminder to you. Love xx

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