The final words I had with both of my parents before they died remain with me. In 1997, my mom died, after a long and painful battle with cancer. I knew the day would come to say goodbye, but until the day came, I had no idea that I longed to tell her certain things or that I might need her to comfort me in that moment.
The door to the classroom opened and a woman walked to the front of the class with a note in her hand. The professor called my name, I came forward, and then left the room. I needed to call home. It was urgent. So, I found a small conference room on campus with a phone. And I called. Dad answered and told me that mom needed to “say goodbye.” Tears swelled in my eyes at the words.
My mind raced and the words spilled out. I spoke to her about how much she had meant to my life. How I hoped I would be as good of a mother as she had been to me. I listened as she told me all would be fine when she was gone and that she was grateful I had a loving husband and two beautiful children. We parted with “I love yous” and hung up.
I hadn’t noticed that the conference room had a door adjoining the office of a professor and that the door was slightly ajar. The professor overheard my conversation and later told me so. She said that she couldn’t help but overhear. And, she said she hoped that she would be as poised when the time came for her to say goodbye to her mother. I’m certain she was.
Her words meant a lot. And still mean a lot to me because they reminded me of the importance of sharing our hearts with those we love. I wondered why it took me to the end to say those words to my mom. And, it made me wonder how I would feel today if I had not gotten the chance.
I wondered if my mom had prepared what she would say to me and whether she wondered why it had taken her so long to say those words. But, perhaps she just knew she needed to comfort me at a time when I needed it.
As we walk through Holy Week, these thoughts come to the surface because Christ, in anticipation of the cross, spoke to his disciples during this time. As a fellow blogger noted this week, He prepared them for what he knew was to come. His words provided direction, comfort, and peace to the disciples.
Christ’s experience and foresight teaches me not only what He wants His disciples to know, but to engage in meaningful conversation and relationship daily. I won’t always get to prepare for and have those last conversations like I had with my mom. But, I have today to spend time with those I love and those I meet along the way. To reflect Christ, to share my heart, to comfort others, to love deeply.
Lord, help me to reflect Christ, share my heart, and love deeply today.
— Godspeed, Elizabeth