“No man can possibly know what life means, what the world means, what anything means, until he has a child and loves it.” –Lafcadio Hearn
Only now do I seem to understand a few things I’ve been told throughout my existence. Cliche after cliche and it all seemed so over the top unreal that I simply nodded and said “hm yeah I see”.
My mother, already in her dying bed, told me that she wasn’t afraid to die for she would never let go of her greatest love: her children. She told me that no other feeling even comes close to what she ever felt for any of us. She would be ours to keep forever and we would always be her greatest achievement and only true pride. I found it beautiful to hear and heartbreaking as well. To imagine that we, her sons and daughter, were her peak of joy crushed me a little bit because we grew, became adults and had our life and issues and she had lost that connection. The chord was cut.
I was wrong. Very wrong. My mother achieved what everyone seeks: immortality. She had raised 3 tiny humans to become more or less competent adults. With our faults, mistakes and failures we were still her pride and joy. The sentiment is too big to be overshadowed by life’s hiccups. She loved us and meant it. Everyday. She lives in me, in my sister and brother. She wasn’t afraid to die, she was afraid we would feel less complete. She was right. But she also knew that with time we would understand that.
My mother was my greatest love. She still is. But now she shares the spot with a tiny human of my own. Now I know what she tried to explain, what she meant with those words. I have my opportunity of reaching immortality as well. I don’t seek perfection, that is out of my reach. I seek to be the best version I possibly can when time calls. So my tiny human grows into a man. Not a perfect one but a proud one. Proud of his daddy for everything was done with him in mind.
Whenever I hold him in my arms, it’s two of us holding him. Every kiss, every gentle touch, every look we take at each other, is shared with her. My mother is immortal, it just took me a while to understand it.
All my love,