My mom was laying on her hospital bed.
I was sitting at her side,
holding her right hand in mine.
She had given birth to and raised six children, four boys and two girls.
I was the third oldest.
She had one eye closed, the other was partially open,
and was coming in-and-out of consciousness.
Each time she came out, she would say repeatedly,"I love you,"
and it was taking all her strength and will-power to do this.
I would reply, I love you too, mom, you rest, try and sleep."
One time while she came to consciousness,
in a loving gesture, I placed my hand and held it on her forehead.
Upon doing this, tears began to flow from her one partially-opened eye...
which caused tears to come to mine.
Within the hour both of her eyes were closed.
And her breathing had
become more shallow and laboured.
Even though she could not speak,
intuitively I knew the words...
she was attempting to speak.
In her last breath she cried out - it was a short and horrifying scream.
I had not expected this, startled
and feeling her anguish,
I began to cry.
A number of months later, on a hot and sunny day,
I was sitting at a children's water park.
There were children playing and having fun, running thru the many jets of spouting water.
They were so full of life and joy.
Their life-energy was contagious, and I soon found myself sharing in their joy.
As I watched, I thought of my mom's passing and her final words,
"I love you."
To myself and all those present, I repeateded, over and over, these words.
Like my mom, in the raising and caring for her children,
I too, like my mom, found purpose and meaning in my life.
Timothy E. Stevenson
December 14 , 2010 ©