I took a walk today. The cold, brisk wind made me scrunch my hands up inside my sleeves, and each breath blew away on its own little cloud. Before long, Mom joined me. Just fell in step out of nowhere. She’ll do that sometimes.
I asked her how she’d been. She said she was having a wonderful time, and I could hear the smile in her voice. After all the pain she had endured, how incredible it was that she was now well enough to keep up with me.
I told her I wished we had been more patient with her during her illness. I felt her lean in close, and she assured me we had done a beautiful job and that she is awfully proud of us. She admonished me not to dwell on the past. I watched the wind blow leaves across the road and promised I would try.
We walked along quietly for a while and then I told her that I’d really been missing her. I wanted to wrap my arms around her and never let her go, but I couldn’t. I just kept walking. Besides, I knew it wouldn’t change anything.
All too soon, she said it was time for her to leave. She whispered, “I love you,” I felt her kiss my cheek, and then she was gone.
I tried to smile, but it was all I could do to hold back the tears. I touched my cheek where she’d kissed me. It was cold from the wind.
As I continued my walk, I was at least grateful to have spent part of it with someone I’ve loved since before I was born. Her essence had been there, even though her body had long been gone.
Maybe the next time she shows up, she’ll stay a while longer. That would be nice. There’s always so very much to catch up on.