In late August, the tree was bursting with so many cherries that pies were crying to be made. My father had tended the tree through hardships we couldn’t keep him from. High blood pressure, open heart surgery and a pacemaker. So on that fortuitous day, my mother and I gathered at the kitchen table and began pitting cherries. My father’s eyes danced with pride as he carried more cherries through the door until the tree was spent. And once pitted, the cherries couldn’t wait. Three pies were built and baked. We three ate our bubbling pie in summer’s last heat. You would have thought you smelled the scent of man’s victory over nature filling the house. You would have believed my father would live forever. You’d have thought anything when my father forgot himself for those hours, and we were three birds flying.