Holding my 91-year old mother, Roslyn’s hand as tears of joy streamed down her smiling face, I would remember this moment forever.
My mother, a real trooper, has been having a terribly difficult time of life the past several months. Aches and pains and a steady stream of visits to doctors and hospitals have made life less than a pleasant affair. I have never seen my normally feisty and upbeat mother feeling so down. When I heard that renowned pianist, Olga Kern, and the San Diego Symphony were playing age-old compositions by Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky that I’d grown up listening to as a child, I told my mother she “had a date.”
My mother’s excitement on the short ride from her retirement community to Symphony Hall was like that of a small child. We were, after all, on our way to listen to the deeply soulful, yet joyous, classical music that my mother had performed on the clarinet at the 1939 Worlds Fair. The unforgettable melodies she had instilled in me as a child.
Minutes later, we were being seated in the second row, center aisle, perfectly positioned to see even the tiniest movements of Olga Kern’s fingers and facial expressions. Glancing over at one another as the Conductor emerged from side stage and the orchestra began playing, a knowing/telling glance between an aging mother and her middle-aged son, we were, for that moment, suspended in time. The tapestry of live violins, tympani, cello’s and horns of genius composers enfolded us in a sacred, once-in-a-lifetime moment.
It was not surprising that tears of joy ran softly down both of our faces and across our smiles. It was, however, a bit of a shock to look up and see one of the cellists crying softly as she gazed down at my mother and I from the stage. Watching us hold hands and shed tears of joy over the sheer beauty of music that bonded us, perhaps we had reminded her of her own mother. And the love they shared? Or were cheated out of? I gazed back up at her, and bowed my head with a smile.
We spend a lifetime gazing upon other people, be they couples in love (“Get a room!”), a mother’s fleeting moment of innocence with her small child or a gold medal winner on the Olympic platform with their family looking on. We gaze upon them because we know these are once-in-a-lifetime moments. Some very lucky individual, couple or family has been anointed. Blessed. For all time.
Last Saturday night, and this Mother’s Day, it’s me! And my beloved Mother. And for this gift, I am eternally grateful.
What are some of the blessings that you wish to count this Mother’s Day? Or create? Do your best to give away, and receive, special expressions of love, gratitude and appreciation on Mother’s Day, and every day.
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Copyright Ken Druck, Ph.D., resilience expert, speaker, consultant, and author of The Real Rules of Life (Hay House). Permission to reprint granted with proper credit.