19 Sep 2006
"Your Mother Should Know" by the Beatles
A Blogger friend of mine said I should post this story on my BLOG as a way to remember my Mum and what she ment to me.
Partly quoting my friend: It is also in the hope that other 'sons' read it and will instil in them a sense of love for their mothers and to take their 'mothers' out before it is too late for them to wish that they had done so but never found the time. Your 'mum' is your 'mum' no matter where you are and what you have become, nothing can change that biological link that God has designed.
Here is my little tale:
My father died in 1995 and my mother then lived alone and 2 hours drive from where I live. Ironically, when he died my father was able bodied while my mum was incapacitated in a few ways. She had fallen down a stairway about 15 years previously and had broken many of her bones. It took her 3 years to recover from the injuries but she never really recovered fully. She was also becoming blind in one eye and after my father died she developed a cataract in her other eye becoming quite blind.
Being widowed for 6 years my Mother often wanted me to visit her but the demands of my work, my three children, and the travel time to her had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. She became, understandably, quite grumpy and sometimes I became quite annoyed with her attitude and didn’t really understand why she was this way. Eventually she was told she could get her cataract removed but if the operation failed she could be blind forever. It was a brave decision that she made to get the work done and it was only then that I realised how much her sight was suffering and it was that that was making her so grumpy and frustrated in her life.
Three weeks after her operation I agreed to go and take her out for the day and she suggested I take her to one of her favourite cafés on Loch Ness. Good friends from Canada were coming over in a few weeks time and she wanted to take them there for lunch but it would be worth her while just checking that it was still up to her high standard. This would be a long journey for me as I could not stay overnight at her home so with the 4 hour drive there and back and the 4 hour tour I would be quite tired at the end of it all.
The evening before, I called to check that she was still OK to go out for the drive and lunch. That Sunday was a beautiful late spring day but I had failed to notice the beautiful day on my journey to Nairn to pick her up. When I arrived at her house, she was smiling and happy and waiting in her living room with her coat on. She had been to the hairdressers and she had just completed buying her outfit for one of her grandchildren’s wedding in July that she was so looking forward to. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son today, and they were impressed”, she said, as she got into the car.
We set off on our drive and it was not long before she was telling me how, with her new sight, she was able to see things so much clearer and brighter. The world was a beautiful and colourful place. Daffodils, cherry blossom, gorse in the hills were all shining bright and it was only then that I really noticed them. She never stopped speaking about the wonderful scenery for the whole drive to the café. Once at the café I started reading out the menu to her (and all the other patrons in the café too!) when she stopped me and said that she could now read the menu again and she would manage to read it on her own. During the lunch, we had an agreeable conversation, nothing extraordinary, but catching up on recent events of each other's life and discussing the imminent arrival of her friends from Canada and what they would be doing together. She was so looking forward to seeing them and visiting places with her new found sight.
We had another great drive back home with a commentary all the way to her front door. As we arrived at her house later, she said, "I am so pleased that you could take me out today. It has been very special. It means a lot to me and I have seen so much beauty around us for the first time for many years. I will remember this day for ever. Iain, when you were a wee boy you told me that you loved me so much and that one day you would buy a car and take me out in your car for a drive. Well, this is that day”.
I said my goodbyes and drove home with joy in my heart knowing that my mother and I had had a very special day together and that I would try harder to find more time to be with her in her old age. I phoned her to let her know I had arrived safely home (as all mothers like you to do) and she again told me that she thoroughly enjoyed her day and her world had become colourful and bright again.
The next day, after work, we had a knock on the door and a police lady stood there. I invited her in and she pulled the world from under my feet when she told me my Mother had died on that morning. No, no, no! It could not be true. I phoned her neighbour who told me that she had died peacefully in the morning in her favourite chair watching the morning news and working on her crossword puzzle with her dog by her side. God rest her soul. Some time after her death I looked back at that joyous day we had together and can only think that she knew deep inside that she was about to give herself back to GOD and meet her loving husband again in heaven. She gave me great memories to look back on knowing that on her last day on this earth she had the most wonderful time of her life with her son.