Saturday, May 13, 2006

Dinner & Movie

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, "I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you."

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my mother, who had been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my 3 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 surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. "I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you," I responded. Just the two of us." She thought about it for a moment, and 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 entries, 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 responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation-- nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other's 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 where mother and I had dined. An attached note said: "I paid this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; but nevertheless I paid for two plates -- one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. "I love you, son."

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 your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till "some other time."

Somebody said it takes about 6 weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby . . . Somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "normal" is history. Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct . . Somebody never took a 3-year-old shopping.
Somebody said being a mother is boring . . Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.
Somebody said good mothers never raise their voices . . Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.
Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother . Somebody never helped a 4th grader with his math.
Somebody said you can't love the 5th child as much as you love the first . Somebody doesn't have 5 children.
Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the books . . Somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose or in his ears.
Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery. Somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the 1st day of kindergarten . Or on a plane headed for military boot camp.
Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back . . . Somebody never organized 7 giggling Brownies to sell cookies.
Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married. . . Somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son- or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.
Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home . Somebody never had grandchildren.
Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her . . Somebody isn't a mother.

I received this in email in February. Part of it has been posted before - but I thought we all might need a reminder.


Nic said...

I've always loved this email. It's such a wonderful reminder to never take those you love for granted b/c you never know when they'll be gone.

Hi again from Michele's!

Jamie Dawn said...

I agree that we should never put off telling and showing loved ones how much we care for them. What a touching story.

Hope said...

Have a wonderful Mother's Day. I've always wondered just who is that 'Somebody' who tells us all that nonsense. The reminder is powerful in another way, we should encourage our husbands to spend time with their moms, afterall wouldn't we love to set a good example for our sons?

srp said...

Judy, I was trying so hard not to cry. Well, I have the nose spray handy so have at it sinuses. I hadn't had my cry for the week and I was due for one.

One for the "Mothers never raise their voices" part. Somebody never came down the hall to see their four year old with her entire body (save her head) through the bannister of the loft overlooking the foyer and standing on the edge on tip-toes. Actually, I didn't raise my voice but very quietly and quickly walked over, secured her arms in my hands, turned her and got her body back through the slats. THEN I raised my voice at the same time she got the spanking of her lifetime. I wanted her to remember it FOREVER. One slip of those little toes and she would have broken her neck. Her head wouldn't go through the slats. Not even teaching her to drive scared me as much as that did. said...

Happy Mother's Day to you, Judy.

Peter said...

That's it for reading blogs for today, 2 out of 2 had me blubbering, ENOUGH.

Judy I put an answer, of sorts, to your petrol price query in my comments section.

yellojkt said...

Very nice story.

I try to say "I Love You" to my wife everyday.

My mother I don't get around to as much.

Michele sent me.

Grins said...

Here via Michele and now I need a hanky. I hadn't read that before and was smiling at first thinking how my own teenaged son asked me on a movie date for next weekend. Then I saw the part of the mom dying of a heart attack, my mom is heart patient, and I started to tear up and it only got worse. I'm such a baby over stuff like this.

Just a trumpet player said...


Michele sent me !

Mildred Garfield said...


I still have tears in my eyes! What a moving Mother's Day post.

What a wonderful mother you must be.

Happy Mother's Day, do whatever makes you happy!!

David said...

wow - good post

Merle said...

Hello Judy ~~ A wonderful post that brought tears to quite a few of us.
Thank you for posting it for today. I
also liked the decorated site and hope you keep it.
Footy is a shortened name for a football game. I watch quite a few footy matches myself. Do you remeber a long way back me saying my grand-daghters make "slices". I wondered what you call them with biscuit bases and then filling on top. You must make them but what do you call them? I hope you
have a lovely day Mother's Day Judy.
Take care, Merle.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I love this Judy....! I am going to reread it after I finish this comment...I used that same picture onmy blog this morning...Great Minds Google Great things! (lol)

I want to wish you a VERY VERY HAPPY MOTHRRS DAY, my dear Judy. I hope you have a lovely day filled with family and great food, too, and many hugs! You deserve them, my dear.

sage said...

Happy Mother's Day Kenju! Your story was very touching and brought tears to my eyes.

mar said...

Judy, that was wonderful, thanks for the reminder! Happy mother's day to you!

Jennifer said...

Very nice. I recognize myself (and or my "somebodies") in many of these.

Happy Mother's Day, Judy!

Inanna said...

Happy Mother's Day, Judy!

rashbre said...

A touching post.

Our UK Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday in Lent, rather than the second Sunday in May (but I still called my Mum this weekend!)

Here today via Michele's.

Terri said...

All of it very nice and appropriate for Mother's Day. And a Happy Mother's Day to you, Judy.

ribbiticus said...

happy mother's day, judy! ;)

Sonia said...

Happy Mother's Day to you, Judy!!
Love this post! Beautiful and moving words!

I will translate it and send to my Brazilians friends! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely post!!
Have a nice and happy Sunday!

Sparkling Diamond said...

This made me cry...thanks so much for posting it! Happy Mothers day to you Judy!!!
P.S. Thanks for the naming the cocoon makers...I heard they are so harmful to the trees and some places put duct tape on the trees to keep them off? I know there were trees in Charlotte with tape around the trunks.

TamWill said...

Happy Mother's Day! Lovely post!
Michelle sent me :)

Thumper said...

I've read this--or something similar--before. Gets to me every time. And it just says what I've always thought--ya need to spend time with and do things for your mom more than one day a year. 'Cause you just never know...

Here via Michele's this afternoon :)

utenzi said...

Michele sent me, Judy.

Happy Mother's (and Grandmother's) Day to you, Judy.

colleen said...

So many times you hear these stories of loose ends being tied up right before someone dies.

I had the intuition to visit my parents last year for a couple of weeks longer than usual...and my dad died 4 months later.

Thanks for your comments about my mother's legs. I agree!

goldenlucyd said...

Happy Mothers' Day Kenju! I've never seen this article before so I'm glad you reprinted it. It certainly captures the essence of motherhood. Hope you're having a wonderful holiday.

moon said...

Yes, I have read this before and it really is touching. Thanks for reminding us of this and the whole meaning behind it kenju


Chancy said...

Judy What a beautiful story for Mother's Day. Thanks for posting it.

Raehan said...

Happy Mother's Day, Judy!

WordWhiz said...

You should warn people before you make them tear up!!


PI said...

Whoever that man is I would love his wife for a daughter in law!