Do you have time for everyone but your mother?

I left home, to join the Army, when I was just eighteen.  I felt that I had to get away from my life as I knew it.  Everyone, including my mother was on the low end of the radar.

I was born in one of the many jerkwater towns, located in Florida.  The streets were not paved, there were no street lights or street signs.  The poverty level was almost one hundred percent.  There were a handful of people that had moved a hair above the poverty line.

My mother was a domestic worker most of her life.  That was a promotion, after working in the tomato fields and picking oranges just to make ends meet.

As you can see, I had to get out! I knew the best way for me to travel and get an education was to join the Army, so I did.  This was a big deal for me, because I had never been outside of my little community, except for the bus ride to school and back.  There were no family vacations or after school activities, such as football games or basketball games.  To school and back home was the extent of my traveling experience, until I joined the Army.

I got through basic training and I never looked back.  It has been thirty years since I left home.  Of course, I visited every now and then.  Then I was given a great excuse, for not coming home, I got orders that led me to Germany.

Three years ago I got the worse news imaginable, my mother had cancer.  I didn’t take the news very well.  It wasn’t that I didn’t love my mother, I just want more from my life.  Now I had to face the fact that I had not, sometimes deliberately, spent alot of time with my mother, and now it was too late.

My mother lost her breast, hair, and dignity.  I came home to find her surrounded by her friends, who was happy to take her to her doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy, and spend nights with her.  I felt that I had let her down, big time.

Weeks after her surgery, mother experienced difficulty walking.  She went back to the doctor, but nothing was diagnosed.  Weeks continued to pass and she continued to complain about the pain in her foot, still nothing was found.  5:30 am, one Monday morning, my mother had to be rushed to the hospital.  The emergencey room, as unsual, was over booked.  She was place on a stretcher, in the hallway, for quiet some time.  By the time she got a room, she was in a more serious state.

I sat and held her hand.  However, she was either too weak are did want to grip mine.  Most of the time I spent with her, she kept her eyes closed, but I could see the tears in the corners.  It appeared that she was doing better, so I decided to leave for a while.  Before I left she opened her eyes and looked at me.  The question she softly asked me, “you love me now, don’t you,” will haunt me for the rest of my life.  I never thought about how I was making my mother feel, when I practically deleted her from my life.  My mother died that night.  The blood clots that was in her foot had weeks to travel to her lungs.  

You only have one mother.  The time to love her is while she is alive.  You know, give her roses (yourself) while she lives.

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  • Reverse Osmosis on Dec 3, 2008

    Very sweet and sad story.

  • Steveakadave on Dec 15, 2008

    This hits to close to home.

  • Karen Gross on Jan 2, 2009

    I too was in a hurry to leave home. I am so grateful that I was able to spend my mother’s last four days with her in the hospital. What I regret the most is the relationship that we never had, and now never will. She died of lung cancer, so she could only whisper at the end, but when she saw me and my daughters she kept saying “I love you! – something I had never heard from her before. Those four days were a gift from God.

  • OhSugar on Jan 6, 2009

    Karen, this is sad and beautiful at the same time. I am so sorry for your loss, but I am very happy for you, that you were able to spend four blessed days with her before she died.

    God Bless

  • TammieSue on Jan 12, 2009

    I can’t imagine the guilt he must be carrying around.

  • Kim Buck on Feb 18, 2009

    Guilt is an awful thing and I would only imagine your mother loved you regardless. I think they always do.

  • shatti on Feb 19, 2009

    I have to agree with kim, your mom loved you and she wouldn\’t want you to carry the guilt.

  • RoseSmith on Mar 10, 2009

    This is a very sad piece. Both mother and son were the losers here. We only have one set of parents, we should give them all the love they deserve, before they die.

  • lisaT on Mar 17, 2009

    Sugar,

    Beautiful, but again sorrow and pain is so obvious, which make this and excellent job.

  • Pushing40 on Mar 20, 2009

    This is sad but, again, you have to forgive, in this case himself, and move on with life, the living.

  • Tracy Snow on May 28, 2009

    This is so very sad for both, the mother and the son. I hope the son knows that his mother would never hold him not be there because he had started his career and was not able to be with her all the time. He needs to forgive himself and live a good life in his mother honor.

  • The Reporter on Jun 10, 2009

    It’s very sad. My mother means the world to me, so that is a very sad story to read.

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