Key Quote: “..a door was being closed that would never open again..”
“I regret not choosing to spend more time with my parents in my twenties. I lost my mother in 2000, and I feel the loss of the friendship we never had.
“She was very demanding, very strict, and from the perspective of a young man, very unreasonable. It turned out, as I live through middle age, that most of the ideals I have today ended up being the ones she put on me.
“Sometimes, after a setback, I feel the impulse to call her, and in the second or so that it takes for me to realize she isn’t alive to speak to any longer, I realize how much I still need her.
“You cannot negotiate with death. It is final, often sudden, and personal. The last night I had with her, at a hospice in Chicago, I was exhausted and asked her if she minded if I went home. She immediately whispered that absolutely, I should rest, and to be careful driving home. I curled her fingers around the nurses call button, and kissed her on the forehead. I remember I felt some relief that I was leaving.
“I know it didn’t make a difference, leaving at that time, or leaving a few hours later. She was going to die either way. But reflecting on that moment today I know then that I didn’t understand how precious those minutes were, and how a door was being closed that would never open again.” —