What really matters to me is that I am able to give back to my mother what she has given to me….love and attention. So when she tells me that she is missing her sister and that she is feeling so not all right and could I take her out for coffee, it is my pleasure to do so.
I had been wondering how she would deal with my auntie’s death. Even though they were separated by many miles, they spoke frequently on the telephone up to 2 weeks before my auntie’s death. By then she was not herself anymore. She was sometimes confused and angry, hitting and scratching at my cousins, too weak to speak with my mother. But she died peacefully at home.
My mother was a bit surprised by her own grief. She felt a bit ashamed of her ‘weakness’. She said that all her siblings were like that. My uncles all cried unabashedly at the funeral. When someone said that they shouldn’t be crying because my aunt was, after all 93, they cried all the harder. So that’s my mother’s side of the family. They lived in each others’ hearts.
My coffee times with my mother are somewhat akin to Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s been a long time since I have read the book, but I remember that those Tuesdays were filled with love, communication and acceptance. That’s how I feel about my time I spent with my mother. She is a great storyteller and a very wise woman despite her lack of formal education. I am who I am because of my mother. And it is a wonderful thing.