“Mom” was not just a title, it was a name.
A very fitting name. Everyone who ever met her loved her like that. My friend John once said that my mother was “the sweetest little old lady” he’d ever met.
One day, she told me a story about my own birth. She said that the nurse laid me in her arms, and I turned my head to blink up at her. She looked into my eyes and said, “Oh! I love you!”
A few weeks ago, in the ICU of the hospital, Mom lay there in another hospital bed, her hands in big medical mittens to keep her from pulling out any of the tubes they had running into her. She turned her head this way and that, not really seeing anthing.
Until she saw me. I was wearing a surgical mask and my do-rag, and all you could see of my face was my eyes.
But she looked into my eyes, and I saw her lights come on one last time.
She reached a hand out to me and said, “Oh! I love you!”
She never said anything else. She was sedated shortly thereafter, and slept for the rest of her life.
The first thing she ever said to me was also the last thing she ever said to me.
I could tell you everything that happened in between…
But I’ve already said it all.
I love you too, Mom.