It was their twenty-first wedding anniversary. His wife suggested that he take another woman out for dinner and a movie. As his expression turned to shocked surprise, she continued, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”
The other woman she wanted him to visit was his mother, who lived alone after his dad had passed away nineteen years ago. Because of his work and his three children it was possible to visit her only occasionally.
That night he called to invite her for dinner and a movie.
Intrigued, “What’s wrong, is everything okay?” she asked, assuming that any late night call or unexpected invitation could only mean one thing: bad news.
“I just thought it would be pleasant to spend some time together,” he responded. “Just the two of us.”
After a moment’s thought, she said, “I would love that.”
That Friday after work, he felt a bit nervous on his way to pick her up. After he arrived at her house, he saw her waiting at the door with her coat on, ready to leave. He noticed that she seemed a little nervous too.
She had curled her hair. She wore the dress she had worn for her last wedding anniversary. When she smiled at him, she looked like an angel.
She said, “I told my friends I was going out with my son and they were impressed!”
They headed to a cozy restaurant. With his mother on his arm, they entered the restaurant and found their table. As they seated themselves, they were presented with the menu. He had to read it, as her eyes could only handle the large print. As he looked up, he saw his Mom staring at him, with a nostalgic smile.
“Remember how I used to read the menu when you were small?” she said.
“Now it is my turn. Relax and enjoy yourself, Mom!” he answered, smiling back at her.
They had a pleasant dinner, sprinkled with conversation, catching up with each other. They realized that they were so engrossed that they had missed the movie.
As he dropped her back home, she said, “Next time we go out, it shall be my treat!” and he agreed.
He drove back home. His wife asked him how the dinner date had gone and he said, “Very nice. Nicer than I could have imagined.”
A few days passed.
His mother died of a massive heart attack. This was so sudden that he didn’t have the chance to do anything for her.
Days later, as he looked through his mail, he found an envelope. In it, was a copy of a receipt from the restaurant he had visited with his mother. There was a note attached to it. It said, “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure if I could be there, but I paid for two. One for you, one for your wife. You have no idea what that night meant to me. I love you, son.”
His eyes filled up. He was glad he had spent time with his mom.
I choked up when I read this.
In life, it is so important to say your I love yous to your loved ones.
So important to spend time with loved ones.
Don’t put it off. There’s no tomorrow. The time is now.
If you postpone it, thinking that you’ll do it someday—it may never happen.
And living with regrets is the most painful thing, ever.
Call that friend you are fond of and make a coffee date.
Email that friend you miss, and would like to get in touch with.
Life will always be busy if you let it.
“I wish I had…” is one of the saddest things to say, because it is usually laced with guilt. That you could have, but didn’t.
Family, at least for me, is everything.
Relationships are a blessing.
Nurture them, cherish them.
#WednesdayWisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor.