One day, while I was lying on a massage table in a dark,
quiet room waiting for an appointment, a wave of longing swept over
me. I checked to make sure I was awake and not dreaming, and I saw that
I was as far removed from a dreamy state as one could possibly be. Each
thought I had was like a drop of water disturbing a still pond, and
I marveled at the peacefulness of each passing moment.
Suddenly my mother’s face appeared - my mother, as she
had been before Alzheimer’s disease had stripped her of her mind, her
humanity, and 50 pounds. Her magnificent silver hair crowned her sweet
face. She was so real and so close I felt I could reach out and touch
her. I even smelled the fragrance of Joy, her favorite perfume. She
seemed to be waiting and did not speak.
I said, "Oh, Mother, I’m so sorry that you had to suffer
with that horrible disease."
She tipped her head slightly to one side, as though to
acknowledge what I had said about her suffering. Then she smiled - a
beautiful smile - and said very distinctly, "But all I remember is love."
And she disappeared.
I began to shiver in a room gone suddenly cold, and I
knew in my bones that the love we give and receive is all that matters
and is all that is remembered. Suffering disappears; love remains.
Her words are the most important I have ever heard, and
that moment is forever engraved on my heart.
By Bobbie Probstein
from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul
Copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Patty Hansen