The Last Son
A while ago I was sitting down by my mom’s side.
She was bedridden due to a sickness she had had for many years.
Not a bad night.
No rain, no heat, just a day.
Well it was night and she was dying.
My father and partner were out for a break and it was my turn to watch over my mom. Watch, like she was some kind of child or something.
My mom was very with it that night while I was there.
We talked and talked.
About everything and nothing really, just talked.
When I was a child.
When she was one.
She had no regrets she told me.
She didn’t want any anyway.
“Life is too short.” She told me.
“Mom, can I get you anything?”
I asked as I got up from my chair.
“Yes, please, some water would be nice.” She had said.
Looking down at my mom I thought,
what a strong person she is.
Dad said early that she didn’t know who he was or where she was this afternoon.
Sitting back down in the chair beside her with her water in my hand I asked,
“Mom, do you know who I am?”
“Of course, you’re my son.” She said.
“I have two.
Your brother was my first and you were my last.”
We must have talked for hours it seemed.
She told me how proud she was of me.
But that she was proud to have me sober and in recovery.
That the last four and a half years she had her son back in her life.
She told me that she had been praying for me every day that I was out there using.
“Don’t use this as a reason to go out and start drinking again.” She said to me that night.
Not to go out, I thought.
God, if there was ever one this would be it.
“No mom, I won’t.” I said.
She took a couple of sips from the glass I was holding up to her lips.
God, please be with my mom, I thought.
My mom used to say, “That life was like a giant book with all the stories already written down.
Stories of those who came before,
stories that are being read right now and still many stories yet to come.”
“You know?” She said to me.
“Going to heaven is the biggest classroom of them all.
All our questions will be answered that you asked in life.”
As she looked up at me with eyes so clear.
“I’m going to school tomorrow.” She said.
“Mom, is there anything else I can get you?” I asked.
“Yes, give me a hug.” She said.
So I did.
I sat with her ‘til my father and partner came home.
I told them what she had said about tomorrow.
Dad said she’s been like that all day with him.
We decided to stay home from work that next day to be with her.
10:43 a.m. my mom had some breakfast.
At 11:30 a.m. she said to us that she loved us.
“What’s the weather outside?” She wanted to know.
“It’s a great day, Ma” Dad told her.
“A great day to be alive.”
11:48 a.m. my mother died with us holding her hands.
Now she knows I thought.
I was the last son she talked to.
The last son to hold her hand.
For the rest of us, all we can do is turn the page.
From the beginning to the end,
she was always with me.
I can’t think of a better gift to give my mom,
from her Last Son….