Sometimes, for a moment, a few minutes, or a sequence in time, the magical happens. Things come together, and it is hard to explain later what has happened unless you too were there.
That occurred to me yesterday.
I lay in bed, the last one in the family to get a mean virus, too tired to move or speak. Suddenly, I remembered the last time I was with my mother when she was healthy.
One Christmas, my wife and I went to visit my parents. I was sick then, too. So fatigued that I could not move or eat or do anything. Bodily aches and pains.
I was sleeping in my childhood bed in my childhood room, when I heard someone open my door and walk towards me. I was too tired to open my eyes. I felt a hand on my forehead.
I knew instantly that it was my mother. I couldn’t see her, but I recognized the touch of her hand and I could smell her. I knew that she was praying for me.
I didn’t say anything. I just lay there feeling very much at peace. She as quietly as possible left the room, and I slid into a deep sleep, feeling as though I were gently falling. It was a wonderful sensation, almost sweet to the taste. The next morning, very early, my wife and I left to fly back to Boston.
A few months later, my mother’s cancer returned in force. The doctors suggested hospice. She died a few weeks later.
Yesterday, that memory came back to me very suddenly and strangely. I have not thought of those precious 30 seconds in many, many years.
It has been, and continues to be, even at this very moment, one of my favorite memories of her.