Lingering Goodbye

April 10, 2006

Since learning of my mother's terminal condition almost two months ago, the amount of contact I have with my parents, in person and on the phone, has naturally increased. Even having just seen her last Friday I am already contemplating my next visit. Not knowing when the last visit will happen, but knowing that it is inevitable has given me a certain motivation.

Our visit last week was more poignant than the previous one in March. I had a chance to sit and talk to my mom, and we shared some tears. I have worked hard at saying to her the things I need to say so when her time comes I'm not left with regrets forever. I don't know that I would have a premonition or not, but I didn't feel like this weekend was the last time I'll see mom alive.

My social calendar has some upcoming events on it, making the next trip to Illinois possible in two weeks, or in four weeks. The four week date will coincide with my 45th birthday. I have all sorts of mixed feelings about that weekend. On the one hand I am wanting to be selfish and keep that day for me. I am going to miss terribly the special little things Michele always did in the past on "my" day. Not having her around this year will be tough. However, I would have a hard time forgiving myself if I stayed away that weekend and didn't see my mom alive again. Having just spent the last three days driving to central Illinois, then Chicago, and back, I am not keen on making another trip in just two weeks. My plan is to talk to mom and dad and gauge how she is faring before making a firm commitment, but I am thinking I'll return to Decatur again in four weeks.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.