Years ago, at St. Jude’s hospital the night before Mom was to have open heart surgery, I said something to her when I kissed her goodnight that I shouldn’t have said. It was true and I meant it, but still I shouldn’t have said it. I don’t think she answered me when I said “Don’t leave me, YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE ME.” Later I was ashamed of myself, what a selfish thing it was for me to say. Even though I felt that way, I thought it many many times again but I never said it out loud to her again. At least I don’t think I did.
Last summer, as I sat snuggled up on the couch with Mom, I found myself saying it over and over again in my head and I started to cry. Mom wanted to know what I was thinking about. At first I wasn’t going to tell her but then I thought it might be a good time to apologize for what I had said. I’m surprised she could even understand me, I barely got a few words out before I was crying so hard I could barely breathe.
Through my tears I told her how sorry I was for making her worry about me at a time like that. I told her it was the most selfish thing I’d ever done. I asked her if she remembered and if she would forgive me and you what she did? She laughed! Just kind of a soft laugh, but she laughed… and said “Oh Lenore, I’m never going to leave you.” And she meant it.
Isn’t it interesting that Dad was thinking essentially the same thing today… It Never Ends.
For as long as it took me to write this memory, it was actually just one of so many things running through my head as I watched the DVD. I’ll share just one other, a question really. I was wondering if, in heaven, Mom’s gets to go back and actually be in some of those moments again, the ones that we long for as we watch them in movies or see them in photos… The times that feel like the happiest days of our lives and we had so many.