Going through some old things, I found an old picture of Mom and me. It was taken during a visit to Germany and a I can tell it’s taken in her house, in the kitchen. She looks genuinely happy in this picture, with a natural, non forced smile. Few pictures like this exist prior to last year as I was there for ten month. It was almost as if she learned to live again, to enjoy basic and simple things in life and when she allowed me to take more pictures of her.
I immediately set the picture aside thinking of sharing it with her the next time we FaceTime. The last time we talked was on Sunday, except that I forgot to show her and realized it after we disconnected. “No big deal” I thought since we were going to talk the very next day again. Monday morning came but instead of talking to Mom, I woke up to a message from Germany saying that Mom would be hospitalized the same day. She has gained 15 kilos since April which appears to be all water weight. I don’t know anything else yet but I imagine the additional water in her body is causing problems with her organs etc. I am almost afraid to ask and my fingers are crossed tightly for her and for a speedy recovery. I couldn’t tell anything from talking to her the day before. She always keeps everything perfectly hidden or blows it off. “What are you going to do anyways so far away” she has responded when I confronted her, and often I think she simply doesn’t understand the seriousness of things. Perhaps she is living in a world of ignorant bliss where it’s just simpler and safer not to know. I often thought of it as a protection mechanism that kicked in after the early death of my father. I once read something about it and there is an actual medical term for it. It’s like our soul is choosing to cut certain painful things out of our life’s in order to protect ourselves from the things we might struggle to overcome.
Needless to say, I never got to talk to her and I never got to show her that picture. It made me sad, really, and like so many things happening in my life these days it made me think. How something so simple and seemingly little can turn into future regrets and missed opportunities. Some of which we may never get another chance to play out or repeat. It made me sad for her, having to face the hospital again, and having to do it alone. She has been in and out of the hospital so much over the past two years. I am not sure if there can be a time when I don’t feel sad and where my heart won’t ache for her. It is a battle that holds me within its grip, never fully allowing me to live my own life. I know what I have done for her, what sacrifices I have brought to the table and what challenges I have faced. And somehow I still can’t look at it and say that I’ve done everything I could.
For me one thing is for sure today, and that is to not delay anything if we can help it. We might never get another chance. Pick up that phone and call today, don’t wait, make it count and ask yourself if you could live with yourself if another chance never came. I know it’s not easy and often we don’t even realize the impact. But maybe we can try to be just a little bit more aware and make that conscious effort. May you never know the regrets of a missed opportunity and may peace be with you always. ❤️🦋