J attended a funeral this week for a coworker’s mother who passed away. He’d never met her. He knew nothing about her walking into the church two towns away. He sat down on a squeaky pew, telling me his mind was elsewhere. He thought of all the things he needed to do, stacks of paperwork, phone calls to return, meetings to plan; he had deadlines looming.
But somewhere between the piano and the processional he was struck. I know this because this tough husband of mine, his voice cracked as he told me the story.
The mother, well up in age whose body had succumbed to cancer, had written each of her children letters before she passed away, letters of memories of love and wisdom, J said.
The pastor struggled to read her words; it was obvious he knew her well.
To each of her children she admitted her largest regret in life was that she didn’t enjoy them more in their younger years. Oh, it was obvious she loved them, but in her last dying days she recognized she had not enjoyed them.
My eyes welled up as J told me the story. I mourned a woman who I’d never met but who I understood so well.
I often don’t find the humor in a baby cracking eggs on the kitchen floor or a child hitting a tennis ball against the brick of our home over and over.
But I do know how swift each season blows through, leaving only flashes of memories and blurry photos behind. And when all is said and done, I want to be able to say that I enjoyed being their mother.