Tuesday, April 16, 2013


 The Other Woman

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman who also loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my Mother, who has been a widow for 19 years and lived alone. I knew she was probably lonely at times and wanted me to visit more, but demands of my work and my three children had made our visits scarce lately. Other than holidays once a year or on her birthday, I rarely got to see her. But that night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.

And she asked, “What’s wrong, are you ill?” My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. "No", I said. "I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you..... “just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. We had never done this before. She waited in the doorway with her coat on and I wondered how long she had been watching for me to drive up. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s and I thought to myself, how beautiful she looked that night.

“I told all my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were so impressed, “she said, as she got into the car. “They just can't wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady of the United States. She was just beaming with pride and joy. After we sat down, I had to read the menu for her. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me with a nostalgic smile.

“It was I who used to have to read the menu to you when you were a little boy,” she said. And I replied, “then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor.”

During the dinner, we had a nice conversation – nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each others' life. We talked so much that we completely missed the movie. But we were both okay with that because the conversation was far more important.

As we arrived at her house later and I walked her to the door, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you next time.” I agreed and gave her a hug and a kiss and left.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home. “Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered. Four days later, my mother died. It happened unexpectedly and so suddenly that I didn't even have a chance to say goodbye. But one week later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from that same restaurant we had shared our date. There was a note attached that said:

“I paid for this meal in advance of our next date because I wasn't sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, just in case I can't be, I paid for two plates –one for you and the other for your sweet, sweet wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you so much my son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. While we are so busy growing up in life, we forget to remember that our parents are growing old.

Nothing in life is more important than taking care of and nourishing the relationship with your parents. Give them the time they deserve, because some things cannot be put off until “some other time.”
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