My family has never taken the words “I love you” lightly; nor have we ever taken them for granted.
As my mother declined with her Alzheimer’s, as her caregiver and son I never thought of it like I would be losing her. That’s because once she was gone I knew she would remain beneath my breast bone and her light would continue to shine in the smiles of our family.
Over the past several days Mom was awake for short intervals as family showed up to see her and be together. Though she couldn’t clearly articulate any words as we’d lean down and get close to her she’d pucker up for a kiss and flash an occasional smile.
Earlier in the week, the Pastor from our long time family church came for a visit. We talked and his words were of great comfort. He visited with mom and we closed the conversation with the Lord’s Prayer. About two sentences in, without skipping a beat Mom woke up and joined us. That was the last coherent thing said in full voice.
I loved my mother and losing her last night is best described as a sad relief. She left this world knowing how much she was loved and her last words to me were “I love you too.”