I don’t always share everything going on in my life as it happens. Most of the time I like to focus on the positive and happy things. Life is already depressing and hard at moments, but as I always try to remember, there’s a balance. Where there is negative, there has to be just as much positive.
In early January I went to CES 2013 in Las Vegas. I was excited about the wonderful assignments that came my way. In addition to being there for my own site, TravelingMamas.com, I had been commissioned to write a feature for Business Traveler Magazine’s February issue. As if that wasn’t enough goodness, I also managed to cover the event for Action News 19 in Cleveland live from various locations while I was at the event.
It was an amazing event. I met so many new friends. I was also completely exhausted and about to fall over when I landed back home.
My mother had been texting me all week.
“I miss you.”
“I’m worried about you. You push yourself too much.”
“I’m glad you’re back home.”
My parents are proud of me and my travel writing career. They also are unable to understand my need to explore. My need to see new places. We’ve had disagreements on some of my choices, but they always support me in my decisions. And they love me unconditionally. This I know.
As soon as I arrived back into town after CES, my mother had a stroke. It was one of the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in my life. I was with her in the emergency room, holding her hands, helpless as I watched her suffer. My brother was also there with me, as was my dad. She had moments where she was unable to speak, but she would look into my eyes with pain, and I couldn’t do a thing to help her at that moment. All I could say was:
“I’m here Mom. I love you.”
During the time she was in the hospital, going through tests, recovering, I had some very kind emails and phone calls from friends who knew what was going on. Mom’s neighbors and friends were there offering support as well.
One afternoon I went to my parents’ home to collect some things for them and to take care of their Westie, Bonnie. I went into my mother’s room and saw her cup of tea still sitting next to her chair. It was so quiet in their home that is usually bustling with activity. I sat in my mother’s chair and I finally allowed myself to cry. I’m so lucky to still have her in my life.
When I returned to the hospital, her room had been filled with flowers. She looked better. She was smiling. I climbed into the hospital bed with my mother and put my arms around her and I told her how much I love her. I’m still counting my blessings for being able to have another chance to say those words to her.
Life is fragile. It could be over for you, or I, or our loved ones in an instant. As I’ve mentioned before, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. If there’s someone who means something to you, tell them today. Your mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, or the person you think of often but haven’t spoken with in a while. Don’t put it off. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow might be too late.
Today, my mother is doing much better. She’s even back to baking massive numbers of cakes at one time. She’s frustrated with not being able to drive, but I try and make her laugh by calling my days of bringing her places “Driving Miss Daisy” after the movie. I tell her I love her every day. You can’t ever tell anyone those three words too many times.
If you happen to be a friend of mine reading this, know that you are dear to my heart, even if we don’t speak often. And remember those three words.