Exactly 11 years ago I saw her for the last time. My friend, daughter and I went together to the Jewish General Hospital to see my mom. She’d been suffering from congestive heart failure for many months, sliding inexorably downhill.
As we entered her room, she was just hanging up the phone!
“Oh hi,” she said, weakly, a smile of delight on her otherwise wan face. “I was just calling you, dolly,” she said, using her favourite nickname for me. Well, good timing then, I thought! Here I was, and with her granddaughter and my friend (who was also her recent caregiver), in the flesh.
We made some small talk as best we could, and then my daughter broke out the pièces de résistance: photos of my mom’s beloved little dog, Boo-boo. Boo-boo, who rarely left my mom’s lap when she’d been home, was now in the care of my daughter’s in-laws. Keeping up his spirits were their two black labs, so he was in good company.
Mom was so happy and relieved to see her “little boy,” as she called him, apparently happy in another home without her. She’d been so worried about him, knowing how attached he was to her.
We all kissed mom good-bye as we were leaving, and I told her, “See you soon.” But it was not to be. The call from the hospital came at 3:30 a.m. She was 92. She was at peace.
It was wonderful that we had that last visit with her. But really, we must remember to tell our family members and friends how much we appreciate and love them. There is only today. Tomorrow may be too late.