Fred Boyles Guest Writer
A big part of my relationship with my mother was her lecturing me on the evils of fast food and how best to take care of myself. A tradition developed over the years: she would call me in transit to have me buy her a diet coke with a McDonald’s combo-meal. If I bought the meal, it did not count as junk food. It was a love gift. So in keeping with the tradition I bought her a combo-meal on the way to my first visit to her in the hospital, never dreaming she would wake up and eat it.
About 15 minutes into my visit she woke up, could not talk, acknowledged my presence and saw the McDonald’s combo meal. She took a bite and went back to sleep.
About two days later I came for another visit and again I was told she was in a coma and not long to live. Here is what happened on that second visit that helped heal me.
In my visit a few days earlier, I had said all I needed to, I thought. You see, my mother could only except love after she tested me or my sisters; only then did she know we really cared for her.
One of my teammates on my men’s team said I should be there for her last breath. I agreed and told my two sisters I was going and would let them talk to our mother over the speakerphone even though she was unresponsive. My sisters were feeling so raw and frightened of her. What test would they have to endure on her deathbed to show their love?
My wife and I walked into her room and low and behold she woke up.
She could not talk because of her dry throat. I took her hand and started to sob, snot and tears. My mother’s last act was to pat my hand. I went there to do my duty and was rewarded with the greatest gift of my life. Thanks to a man on my team I was healed from all the lies and hurtful acts my mother had done.
My mother’s touch is such a fundamental part of who I am as a man, and I did not know or feel that until she patted my hand and mouthed, “It’s alright.” I did not know I so desperately needed that. Suddenly all was right with me and my mom. She is the greatest mother in the whole world.
I am a better man and son by being on a men’s team.