After 21 years of marriage,
I discovered a new way of keeping alive the spark of love. A little while ago
I had started to go out with another woman. It was really my wife's
"I know that you love her,"
she said one day, taking me by surprise. "But I love YOU," I protested. "I know, but you also love her."
The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit
was my mother, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my
work and my three children had made it possible to
visit her only occasionally.
That night I called to invite
her to go out for dinner and a movie. "What's wrong, are you well," she
asked? My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call
or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.
"I thought that it would
be pleasant to pass some time with you," I responded. "Just the two of us." She thought about
it for a moment then said "I would like that very much."
That Friday after work, as
I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at
her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited
in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing
the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding
anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel's.
"I told my friends that I
was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed," she said, as
she got into the car. "They can't wait to hear about our meeting."
We went to a restaurant that,
although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as
if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu.
Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entrée,
I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile
was on her lips. "It was I who used to have to read
the menu when you were small," she said. "Then it's time that you relax and let me return
the favor," I respond.
During the dinner we had
an agreeable conversation - nothing extraordinary - but catching up on
recent events of each others life. We talked so much that we missed
the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said "I'll go out with you again, but only if you
let me invite you." I agreed. "How was your dinner date?"
asked my wife when I got home. "Very nice. Much more so than I could
have imagined," I answered.
A few days later my mother
died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn't have
a chance to do anything for her.
Some time later I received an envelope with
a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined.
An attached note said: "I paid this bill in advance. I was almost sure
that I couldn't be there but, nevertheless, I paid for two plates
- one for you and the other for you wife. You will never know what that
night meant for me. I love you."
At that moment I understood
the importance of saying, in time: "I LOVE YOU" and to give our loved ones
the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than God
and your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things
cannot be put off to "some other time." --Author Unknown