Love Never Leaves You

Love Never Leaves You

From A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Love Never Leaves You

I grew up in a very normal family with two brothers and two sisters. Although we did not have much money in those days, I always remember my mother and father taking us out for weekend picnics or to the zoo.

My mother was a very loving and caring person. She was always ready to help someone else and she often brought home stray or injured animals. Even though she had five children to contend with, she always found time to help others.

I think back to my early childhood and I see my parents not as husband and wife with five children, but as a newlywed couple very much in love. The daytime was to be spent with us kids, but the night was their time to be with each other.

I remember I was lying in bed one night. It was Sunday, May 27, 1973. I woke up to the sound of my parents coming home from a night out with some friends. They were laughing and playing around and when I heard them go to bed, I rolled over and went back to sleep, but all that night my sleep was troubled by nightmares.

Monday morning, May 28, 1973, I awoke to a cloudy overcast day. My mother was not up yet so we all got ourselves ready and went to school. All that day, I had this very empty feeling inside. I came home after school and let myself into the house. “Hi, Ma, I’m home.” No answer. The house seemed very cold and empty. I was afraid. Trembling, I climbed the stairs and went to my parents’ room. The door was only open a little and I could not see all the way inside. “Ma?” I pushed the door open all the way so I could see the whole room, and there was my mother lying on the floor beside the bed. I tried to wake her, but she would not wake up. I knew she was dead. I turned around, left the room and went downstairs. I sat on the couch in silence for a very long time until my older sister came home. She saw me sitting there and then in a flash she was running up the stairs.

I sat in the living room and watched as my father talked to the policeman. I watched the ambulance attendants carry out the stretcher with my mother on it. All I could do was sit and watch. I couldn’t even cry. I had never thought of my father as an old man, but when I saw him that day he never looked so old as he did then.

Tuesday, May 29, 1973. My 11th birthday. There was no singing, no party or cake, just silence as we sat around the dining room table looking at our food. It was my fault. If I had come home sooner she would still be alive. If I had been older she would still be alive. If . . .

For many years, I carried around the guilt of my mother’s death. I thought about all the things I should have done. All the nasty things I had said to her. I truly believed that because I was a troublesome child, God was punishing me by taking away my mother. The thing that troubled me the most was the fact I never got the chance to say goodbye. I would never again feel her warm embrace, smell the sweet scent of her perfume or feel her gentle kisses as she tucked me into my bed at night. All these things taken away from me were my punishment.

May 29, 1989: my 27th birthday, and I was feeling very lonely and empty. I had never recovered from the effects of my mother’s death. I was an emotional mess. My anger at God had hit its peak. I was crying and screaming at God. “Why did you take her away from me? You never even gave me the chance to say goodbye. I loved her and you took that away from me. I only wanted to hold her one more time. I hate you!” I sat in my living room sobbing. I felt drained when suddenly a warm feeling came over me. I could physically feel two arms embrace me. I could sense a familiar but long-forgotten fragrance in the room. It was her. I could feel her presence. I felt her touch and smelled her fragrance. The God that I had hated had granted me my wish. My mother was coming to me when I needed her.

I know today my mother is always with me. I still love her with all my heart, and I know that she will always be there for me. Just when I had given up and resigned myself to the fact that she was gone forever, she let me know that her love would never leave me.

Stanley D. Moulson

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