I spent Mother’s Day in the van driving home from a funeral. It was not the scenario I would have chosen, but any inkling of self-pity that might have leaked through the windshield was immediately wiped away by the thought of my friend, waking up on Mother’s Day the morning after her son’s funeral.
She wouldn’t have been alone. Her home was filled with family, including her own mother and her daughter, but as the day unfolded, her house would have slowly emptied of distractions as everyone returned to their own homes and their own lives. Lives that would be forever changed by her son’s death, just as they had been changed by witnessing his courageous battle with cancer. There will be a hole where he used to be. But it is nothing like the bleeding gash at the center of my friend’s life.
For six years, she accompanied her son through an endless parade of tests and operations. At times, I worried about her health, especially in the last few months when she rarely left his side.
“He likes it when I’m home,” she would reply if I suggested that it might be good to get out of the house every now and then.
When I told my husband of my concern, he said, “You know you would do the same thing.” And I know he’s right. Just as I know that my friend will cherish every single one of those extra moments she had with her son because she chose to stay with him rather than go out for a walk or a cup of tea with a friend. Nineteen years worth of moments.
Yes, I spent Mother’s Day in the van, but I had both my sons with me. I hugged both my sons good-night at the end of a difficult weekend. And I hugged both my sons again as they headed out the door to school this morning. I will cram as many hugs and as much laughter as I can into the moments that remain for us. We have no idea how many of those there might be left.
I am so blessed.
Please help me to remember that every moment of this day and every day that follows.