Friday, November 13, 2009

A Mother's Love

Mother and Son,
originally uploaded by INTVGene.

Today I am having a difficult time concentrating at work. My thoughts have been on Michael, his final days, and his final hours. Michael had not only my devotion, but that of his mother.

Michael's mother lives almost three hours north of our home, yet she was there whenever he was in need. This summer she spent every other week in our home, carefully balancing Michael's needs with those of her grandchildren. As Michael's condition became more complicated, she was there full time.

During the past 60 days Michael's mother and I have shared in our grief for him. Our grief is not the same, we both loved him, but I understand that she has loved and supported him for 47 years. She had dreams for him, many of which he has certainly surpassed. Yet I also know there are many dreams that she has had to let go, and take flight along with him.

In reflecting back on the adventurous life of Michael, I can see that his mother had to say goodbye to him many times. In high school he applied to the foreign exchange program, and went to live with family in France. After college Michael left for two years with the Peace Corp in Senegal. From there was Washington DC, Latvia, Estonia, and Norway. I'm sure it was a point of pride for his mother to see him achieving his dreams of being part of that larger world. As a parent myself, I know it wasn't easy to see him off, knowing that it would be a considerable amount of time until she saw him again.

I don't know if Michael completely understood that his earthly life was coming to an end, or that his new journey was about to begin. What I do know is that he was comforted to know that his mother was once again there to see him off. This was a very difficult thing for her to do. This was her baby boy, and he wouldn't be coming back from this journey.

I believe she will one day see him again. I believe Michael will welcome her when that day comes. Until that day I hope she will hold Michael's love and gratitude close to her heart. I hope that he is able to reach out and comfort her along the way. I know that he loved her very much.


  1. I just ran across your blog through a comment on Fresh Widow's blog and wanted to extend my condolences.

    I also wanted to mention that I have added you to my ever-growing list of widow/ers. Right now you are listed under "Widowers with Small Children" since one of your posts mentioned your 11-year-old son. If there is a more appropriate category, please let me know.

    It took me two years after my wife's death to be able to write much at all. I admire the fact that you are both able to write and willing to share when your grief is so incredibly raw.

    Cherish the relationship you have with your mother-in-law. I have found that it is a very rare bond to have, especially among widow/ers.

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. Writing, expressing myself, is the only way I know how to get through this. I'm trying to be as open and honest about what I'm going through as possible.

    As for categories, any of them are fine. My three "kids" are ages 11, 15 and 18.

    Thanks again. Dan