The Goddess Speaks
A holiday gift of gratitude
I HAVE been blessed in such a significant way this year, I started celebrating Christmas months ago.
Not only did I shop early, I took my time wrapping the gifts, folding each part of the paper to perfection. I thought about what my family had been through, and meditated on the memories as I wrapped. I rummaged through my collection of ribbons and bows, and with utter joy placed them on the gifts like a medal around an Olympian's neck.
In May, my mother attended my daughter's high school graduation, flying in from the mainland. But just weeks later, I received a call that Mom had been taken to the hospital and was facing quadruple-bypass surgery the next day! She had been in perfect health up until then. In less than 24 hours, in a state of disbelief, I made all arrangements and was in the air as her surgery was being performed.
I will never forget the feeling as the plane's wheels touched down, not knowing Mom's fate. From a distance, I saw my brother and searched his face for an answer. "Was she alive?" As we embraced he told me, "She made it," and we drove to the hospital.
Mom was just coming out of anesthesia. She looked dazed and fragile, with lines and tubes everywhere. It was agonizing seeing her this way.
THROUGHOUT her hospitalization I stayed by her bedside, hoping that my love and devotion would expedite her recovery.
I'm pleased to say it has been six months since her surgery and she is doing well. I know our parents have to die eventually, but we are never ready to let them go. My dad died suddenly at age 61. No time for last goodbyes or "I love yous."
I have been given the ultimate gift this year -- in the most profound way, I have been reminded that my mom's time with us is limited and we need to make every moment count. Not just with her, but with each other.
To be given a second chance at anything is special. To be given a second chance to love someone is extraordinary.
The holidays, from this year on, will never be the same. Each year, as Christmas approaches, I will remember that the greatest gifts of all are right before us -- our family and friends.
Happy, happy new year, my beloved mother.
Carol Lee Ramie runs Island Investigative Services with her husband.
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