As the firstborn of our mother’s three children I had the unique experience of having the first and last conversation* with her that she would have with one of us on earth. Nothing do I recall of that first conversation, andh I imagine it was quite brief.
I probably asked for a book. I was known to be of a one-track mind back then.
Much I recall about the last conversation though.
We talked about her healing progress. (She was recovering from surgery on her broken right leg.)
We talked about whether my father was being good to her, taking care of her.
We talked about my still new husband.
Mostly though Mama had called to tell me how engaged she had been in the rough draft of a novel I was writing at the time. She was anticipating the next chapters and of course, the ending. I drank in her praise. My writing was not something I shared with my parents for reasons I won’t go into here and now. But this had been unique circumstances and share I had and she was not just proud of me, she wanted to know every detail of chapters yet to be written for characters whose fate was yet to be determined.
Had I known a precious few moments after our conversation it was the last we’d share on this side of eternity what would I have changed? What would I have said?
I would have said all the things I found unsaid only minutes later.
I would have asked her how to be a mother. How to cope with my own health crisis later. I would have asked her if she had any message for my siblings.
Mainly though I would have wanted to be assured she knew I loved, respected, admired and respected her. That I was sorry for the years I ran from God and made her worry.
That there was no lingering resentment in my heart for the years she had to parent me around her own resentment and pain. I would tell her it didn’t matter. Those years made me stronger and wiser in many ways.
I would not want that conversation to end.
There were moments left to share.Another grandchild for her to meet. A thousand and more times I would reach for my phone to call and tell her something. The same of my siblings.
I would warn her of the bloodclot she would dislodge by moving that broken leg. The clot that went straight to her heart and killed her.
I would have cried with her.
I would have laughed more with her.
I would have cherished every word we said, repeated them so time would not erase them.
I would want to talk about earthly things and relationships and stain removal. I would have fought tooth and nail to not have her pass.
And I would let her go. For it was not my decision. I did not set the dominos hurling down.
I mourned her passing deeply and still do. But, as much as I miss her today and want her here with me, I know she is just over Jordan, with God. I know that even as those precious last few minutes of her time on earth were ending, the Gates of Heaven were opening.
It is well with both our souls Mama, see you when its time.
Call your mother!
*My sister did make it to my parents home before Mama passed and answered her question, “Where are my babies?” But that was all they exchanged.