Six years ago, my mom, an elderly diabetic, developed a massive infection. It was nearly septic, and she was at death’s door. Thanks to the extensive and deft surgical intervention of one Dr. Rifkind — who was certain my mom would not survive — she not only recovered, but lived long enough to become a grandmother, twice. She lived long enough to see her children succeed in their professions. She lived long enough to see her grandsons become great friends (like her own children before them) and begin growing into exceptional young men. In other words, she lived long enough to see her legacy assured. But she did not live long enough to suit me.
This afternoon, a brilliant May day, my mom died. This time it was an infection that did turn septic, among other serious complications. Holding her hand at the end, in the same hospital where she gave birth to us, were me and my sister. Her final words to us — late last night, the last time we saw her conscious — were “I love you.”
The eventful extra time she had was a miraculous gift, for her and for me. She shared a lot of joy she might have missed. But it was not enough. There was more joy to share.
My world grew a little lonelier today. I will miss her.