On July 5th of this year, mom had her first appointment with MD Anderson, as she had run out of treatment options back home in Tennessee. Obviously, I called her when I knew she was done so I could know if she was okay or not. I optimistically asked what they had said to her….there was a pause….I, being naïve, wondered if the call dropped and asked “Hello?”. Mom’s response brought my worst fears to a reality. Through tears she told me, “I don’t want to do this over the phone”. I felt my heart drop and did everything I could to stop the tears from coming. I quickly changed the subject to continue our conversation tears free. However, I was powerless when the conversation ended, and I sat in my chair weeping. I knew what that kind of response meant, that the worst is here. I knew my mom was given a timeline. I cried everyday with every new thought about what I would miss with mom gone.
The first thing I thought was Mother’s Day, and how sad that day will always be. What does one do on Mother’s Day when they have no mother?
The second thought was my mom’s birthday in November. Would she even make it to 50 years old? And even so, what about the birthday after? I had a tradition for her birthday. I would always get her a chopped chicken salad and a lemon pound cake from Corner Bakery and a $20 gift card, plus some other present, usually a Texas A&M shirt. I thought to myself, I don’t get to do that anymore, I don’t get to celebrate her birthday anymore.
Another thought was my birthday. Every year, both my parents would have a competition on who could wake me up the earliest so they can say they said happy birthday first. I usually lied to both and said they both won (Don’t tell them that). However, that’s going to be different. Dad will be the winner every time (Unless my girlfriend has something to say about it!).
Finally, the thoughts that makes my heart the saddest are all the little things I will miss. I no longer will be able to call mom while I walk home from class and just chat about things, ask for help, plan, and see how she and my step-father are. I will forever miss hearing her voice. I no longer will have her to play card games with, and have her and my girlfriend gang up on me. I will forever miss playing games with her.
I no longer will be woken by her in the morning, and have her sit on my bed and talk to me for a while about life and what we would do that day. I will forever miss waking up and talking with her. It is these “little things” that have the biggest impact, because they are the ones that are gone. I still can (And plan to) tell her Happy Mother’s Day. I still can (And plan to) celebrate her birthday, and eat Corner Bakery with her. I still can (And plan to) believe she will try to beat dad at saying happy birthday to me. Although I will forever miss all the “little things” me and mom used to do, these memories have taught me not to take things that seem so small for granted. I will cherish these memories more than the holidays I will miss with my mom, because these memories are what my relationship with mom was.
Even when she’s gone she still teaches.
Luke 16:10- “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”