This is a deeply personal blog post, I wasn’t going to write about this but there might be someone out there who may need to see something like this to know they are not alone. This may also be a reminder to make each encounter with loved ones count.
June 9th 2020, we were nearly three months into the pandemic. My mother’s beloved John had been gone exactly one month to the day. It was my routine since John’s passing to have coffee with mom every morning, because this was her ritual with John. Mom was having a tough time after John’s passing she’d never lived on her own before – I’d offered to move in with her but she didn’t want me changing my life because of her.
Our coffee chat included the typical what happened the evening before, and what the plans of the day were. I told mom about Evie (my newly adopted cat) and she told me my nephew had called the night prior and she was excited about their conversation. She was asking me about her car and if I thought she could drive it? I told her first she’d have to get it checked out as the check engine light was on, so she added calling her mechanic to her to do list. I headed out about 10am to get a few things done at home. I left saying as I always did “I love you”, she answered as she always did” I love you too sweetheart more than you’ll ever know”-“Be careful on the road.”
About two hours later my mother called me she wasn’t feeling well. I rushed to her house, called 911 because she was obviously not herself. Before the rescue cam we sat hand in hand with her head on my shoulder saying I love you, we both knew this would probably be the last moment we would spend together.
My mother suffered an inter cranial bleed. It would be another eight and a half days before she passed. I did get to see her hours before she passed. She knew who I was, and that this was the final goodbye. this time she said “I love you” and I said “I love you too, more than you ever know”.
I write about this because, that morning was like any other in the previous weeks. We don’t get a notice, we don’t have a visible expiration date. If these past two years have taught me anything, is to be present, not just there, but present with whom ever I’m with. Don’t just hear but listen. Pause before you answer especially if you don’t agree. Think to yourself is my opinion or belief more important than this relationship, this moment? We don’t get do overs, you get one chance per encounter. Make it one that if you have to remember even in the shit-hole of grief that you’re heart is still filled with love and not regret…
Peace, and kindness is all any soul wants,