If I could have one hour to spend with anyone, living or dead, I’d spend it with my mother.
I woke last night at 1:00 in the morning with that sentence running through my head. I slowed my thoughts down a bit and explored the concept. Was I sure it would be my mother? Out of all the people in the world, back through all eternity?
Yes, if it could only be one, than she was it.
I’d sit across a small table from her, out on a bluff above the ocean on a pretty spring day with seabirds floating on a breeze that made the grasses dance. I’d ask her questions. How long did it take you to grieve your mother; when did you start to feel better? When grandma died, so long after grandpa, did you feel like an orphan even though you were an adult? What’s heaven like anyway? Is dad there with you every day? Did you get to see your folks, and your own grandparents? Your brother? Can you really see us down here? All the time? Or just when we want you to, because sometimes I do stuff I’d rather you didn’t know about. What’s the secret ingredient in your potato salad?
I’d ask questions, but mostly I’d just sit and listen and look. I’d memorize her face and her voice, soak in the ‘momness’ of her. File it away to be taken out and examined later. And when the hour was gone saying goodbye would be excruciating. But no more excruciating than these past ten years have been, no more excruciating than the next ten will be. I’d hug her tight until she disappeared – until she became nothing but a wisp of sweet air.
And then I’d find myself hugging only me.