I think it’s safe to say that if you’ve ever listened to NPR, you’ve sat in your driveway or in a parking lot listening to the soothing narration, the metered cadence of voice over, hanging on every turn of the story until you got to the satisfying end (I mean, they made a whole CD of them, so I can’t be alone in this).
I did that today.
“All Things Considered” did a brief interview with their weekend host, Scott Simon, who has been tweeting the final days of his mother’s life spent in the ICU. She passed last night. I’ve been following his twitter feed (@nprScottSimon) and had been truly touched by his words the last several days, many bringing me to tears.
“Mother cries Help Me at 2;30. Been holding her like a baby since. She’s asleep now. All I can do is hold on to her.”
“I love holding my mother’s hand. Haven’t held it like this since I was 9. Why did I stop? I thought it unmanly? What crap.”
“I just realized: she once had to let me go into the big wide world. Now I have to let her go the same way.”
“Mother asks, “Will this go on forever?” She means pain, dread. “No.” She says, “But we’ll go on forever. You & me.” Yes.”
As I listened to his voice break and why he shared these experiences with the world, all I could focus on were the words and a son’s love for his mother held inside of them.
As a mother, all I want is for my children to be strong, capable, caring, graceful people. I want them to go forth in the world and conquer their little part of it. I want them to have loving relationships and generous spirits. In my heart of hearts, I don’t truly want any credit for that. I simply want to revel in it. I want to be an old lady on a porch somewhere and watch my children teach their children those same lessons and know in that moment that whatever I did worked.
But to see this man’s love for his mother spelled out in 140 characters of brutal honesty and sincerer sentiment than any Hallmark card could ever hope to possess, I admit I want to be loved like that.
So, Patricia Lyons Simon Newman, know this: you did an excellent job raising what appears to be a thoughtful and loving man. But you also inspired me again today to continue trying to be the best mother to my boys I know how so that one day, they too will hold me in their arms and realize the symmetry of our love.