What can you say right now with certainty?
This I can say for certain. “All the time that you have left is in your hand, right now.”
How this plays out is: if you want to talk to your mom, and say you have some idea making a video of her sage advice or just a recording of her singing. Do it now.
October 16 – my mother’s diagnosis
November 20 – mom’s death
My sister called me during about the third of those weeks and begged me, when mom was still cognizant and could speak, to please have her call and leave a message on her voice mail. I had to wake mom up.
“Mom! You awake? You have to call Mary.” She was sleeping more and more. She couldn’t even answer Jeopardy questions anymore. My brain bounced between the dark closet of denial and the hot spotlight of panic: If I wanted to TALK TO MY MOM, I had to do it now. LIKE RIGHT NOW. I’d sit on the floor next to her chair, holding her hand and try to think of things to say.
“Mom, here. Mary’s phone is ringing. Leave her a message. Tell her you love her.”
Mom did it. Mary laughed because the message was something ridiculous like “Hi Mary. Beth said I had to call you but I don’t know why. Anyway, I did what she said. I love you. Bye.”
So, I got her to do it for my sister. And I thought for a second — “I should have her do the same for me” — but then laundry and nurses and visitors distracted me and…
All the time you have left is right now.
Translation: whatever you are doing right now? You have two choices. Either:
- be sure you are doing what you love, or
- be sure whatever you are doing, however menial, you are doing it with great love.
Because, I can attest, no matter what, you can’t imagine how time changes and twists until before you know it…