by Laura

I’ve sold our last box of Girl Scout cookies (Oh wait, I mean my daughter did. Yeah…. Right). My father is home from the hospital and the rehab and is able to walk to the mailbox. Signs of spring are evident (if you look at nothing but calendars). And I’m done inhaling bleach fumes after a my daughter’s latest bug. So here I am, even for just a moment. But a moment can mean everything.

What would you give for one more moment with the person you loved and lost? A million dollars? Five years off your own life? More? One last chance to say “I love you” and “Thank you” and “It’s okay.” Or “It’s not okay” and “Don’t go” and “No, I mean it. You can’t go.” My mom played brave and I played along, so we never said goodbye. But man, I’d give anything. Yes, a million dollars, even if it took a lifetime to earn it. And yes, five years or more. Just one more smile. One more hug. One last chance to tell her she was awesome. That she was such a good mom. That she did a great job taking care of me.

I brought my daughter to school late today, let her sleep in to recover a little more before returning. She’s tiny, so any illness depletes her rapidly. The front office ladies asked if she had an excuse card and she handed in the one I’d written. “Are you feeling all better?” They asked her. Yes. “Your mother takes good care of you.”

And then I felt like crying. Because no one ever tells me that. Because I don’t think my daughter agrees. Because my husband tells me otherwise all the time. Because I haven’t heard it since my mom was alive.

And now my moment is gone, because my son just woke up early from his nap. But I’ll join you again if I ever get another one.