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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