I am coming to terms with what some of you know.
Grief doesn’t have an end date.
You might have seen/heard versions of this. But seven years later, it hits fresh and new tonight.
We were in the hospital. We had just met with the doctors and nurses. They asked us outside to talk about “palliative care.” I didn’t know what that meant.
My sister and I met with a counselor.
We had to come to terms with the fact that our mother was nearing the end of her life.
That was hard to process.
For me, one of the biggest moments was when I went home and made mix CDs for my Mom.
All our favorite gospel and contemporary Christian and soul music songs. And hymns. Lord, she loved her hymns.
And I played them for her in the hospital room.
One day, still in the hospital, it was just her and me. “Jimmy, come here.”
I did as she asked.
“I’m gonna be fine. But please take care of them.”
I didn’t know how to respond. So I nodded. As I’ve said before, she mustered the strength to be stern.
“Take care of them.” She said with emphasis. She wanted me to be the good man I was in her eyes.
I put my head on her bed, next to her legs, and sobbed.
She placed her hand on my head and touched it lightly as I wept.
I could feel her IV brushing on my ear.
A few days later, she was in hospice.
She died with my sister and my wife by her side.
I was a few minutes late. I love you, Mom. Sorry I didn’t make it in time.
Note: I don’t even remember when I took this picture. But it reminds me of Mom, of love, of life.