Over the course of my time with Mom a year ago, God taught me my fourth lesson, the importance of words. The first few days, Mom and I would chat throughout the day when she was awake. However, because she was taking medicine, it was difficult for her to stay awake for long periods of time. Unfortunately, every day the amount of time she stayed awake shrank. Along with this, her ability to speak also began to dwindle. I was not ready for when Mom finally no longer spoke during the day, and instead only gave noises when she was uncomfortable. No one prepares you for something like that since it seems like such a minor aspect to the rest of the negatives happening, but it was something so major. The days following Mom losing her ability to coherently speak were the beginning of the worst days. My time with her went from talking with Mom to only sitting next her, holding her hand, and listening to her slowly drift away from me.
I was lucky though, because I was able to be with Mom while she could speak, we were able to have a “last words” type of thing. I know I was lucky to have such a moment, but it stings to have her words run through my head. The first day I was there, my Mom and I sat there chatting when there was a pause in our conversation. I looked at Mom and she started to cry, and all I could do was lean into her and hug her as hard as I could.
She cried and cried and finally said, “I’m sorry Alex, I really wanted to see you graduate. I wanted to see you get married”.
Those are the last words Mom essentially gave me that I will remember forever. I may have pictures and journals, but in my mind those will be what I remember first, those words. Then, I’ll remember all the other words and conversations I had with Mom. Most good, but of course I was not a perfect child and I’m sure I said some things that hurt her feelings. However, she never said something mean or demotivating to me regardless of how I was being. She always encouraged me and was positive, and always said she loved me. Mom knew the impact of words and chose them carefully. When Mom no longer spoke, that was when it truly felt like she had left. Mom had such a wonderful voice, and when she spoke, she was always so clear and so witty. I miss her voice and her words the most when I miss her.
This was God’s lesson to me, to choose my words with care, and always be positive with them. He taught me how you never know when words could be the last words you would hear from someone, and because of that, never end a conversation with a loved one on a bad note. Mom and I always finished with “I love you” regardless if we were arguing or just chatting. And on a day like today, the night before the anniversary of when I lost my Mom, all I can think of is her words, and how important they are to me, and how important words are to everyone.
Proverbs 16:24; “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”