Sunday, January 01, 2006


After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another
woman out todinner and a movie. She said,
"I love you, but I know this other woman loves
you and would love to spend some time with you.
"The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit
was my MOTHER, who has beena widow for 19 years,
but the demands of my work and my three children had
made it possible to visit her only occasionally.That night
I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.
"What'swrong, are you well?" she asked.
My mother is the type of woman who suspectsthat a late
night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.
"Ithought that it would be pleasant to spend some time
with you," I responded."Just the two of us."
She thought about it for a moment, and then said,
"Iwould like that very much."That Friday after work, as
I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous.When
I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed
to be nervousabout our date. She waited in the door
with her coat on. She had curled herhair and was wearing
the dress that she had worn to celebrate her lastwedding
anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant
as anangel's. "I told my friends that I was going to go out
with my son, and theywere impressed," she said, as she
got into the car. "They can't wait to hearabout our meeting.
"We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was
very nice and cozy.My mother took my arm as if she
were the First Lady. After we sat down, Ihad to read
the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half
way throughthe entries, I lifted my eyes and saw
Mom sitting there staring at me. Anostalgic smile
was on her lips. "It was I who used to have to read
the menuwhen you were small," she said. "Then it's
time that you relax and let mereturn the favor,"
I responded.During the dinner, we had an agreeable
conversation - nothing extraordinarybut catching up
on recent events of each other's life. We talked so
muchthat we missed the movie.As we arrived at
her house later, she said, "I'll go out with you again,
butonly if you let me invite you." I agreed. "
How was your dinner date?" askedmy wife when
I got home. "Very nice. Much more so than I could
haveimagined," I answered.A few days later, my
mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened
sosuddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything
for her. Some timelater, I received an envelope with a
copy of a restaurant receipt from thesame place
mother and I had dined. An attached note said: "
I paid this billin advance. I wasn't sure that
I could be there; but nevertheless, I paidfor
two plates - one for you and the other for your
wife. You will neverknow what that night meant
for me. I love you, son."At that moment,
I understood the importance of saying in time:
"I LOVE YOU" and to give our loved ones the
time that they deserve.Nothing in life is more
important than your family. Give them the timethey
deserve, because these things cannot be put off till "some other time."

No comments: