In a way, mom and I live in two separate worlds.
Hers is one of the happiest worlds you could ever imagine. And, when I visit it, it makes me happy, too.
She rarely visits mine, or at least I am unaware of it if/when she does, but last night, out of the blue, she did and it caught me totally off guard.
I had tucked her in bed, kissed and hugged her and was dimming her lamp on the bedside table when she spoke in a voice that was strong, sure, and calm … a voice I have not heard from my mom for too many years now.
“I just want you to know, if you ever have to leave me, always know you have been the nicest person to be with me and help me.
You have given me the most wonderful times of my life.
No matter what happens, I will always love you for it.”
I stood by her bedside, watched her as she closed her eyes, watched the steady rhythm of her breathing … and then, without making a sound, I cried.
My tears were a warm, salty mix of sadness and joy.
The tears of sadness were for the challenges and choices that lie ahead.
The tears of joy were for the feelings you experience when someone you have loved your whole life, and yet haven’t seen in what seems like forever, returns home.
The miracle is that you are so caught up in the moment, it doesn’t even occur to you to ask, “So, how long are you here for?”