MOM, CAN YOU PULL SOME STRINGS?

MOM, CAN YOU PULL SOME STRINGS?

From A Second Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul

Mom, Can You Pull Some Strings?

“Mom, you can’t die. I’m a late bloomer,” I pleaded at my mother’s bedside, as she lay dying of pancreatic/liver cancer. This couldn’t be happening! My beautiful, vibrant, effervescent, fifty-nine-year-old mother couldn’t be sick! It was all so unreal. Just two months ago she was fine, and yet now here she was, days from death.

“Mom, you have to meet my future husband and kids. You’re not done.”

“Oh, Carol, I would have loved that,” she said, wanly.

“Okay, Mom. If you’re not going to meet him, you have to send him to me! Will you pull some strings for me up there?” I asked, trying to make her feel better.

“Yeah, Mom, you’re on loser patrol. Carol needs help,” my older sister, Linda, chimed in.We’d both moved home to nurse Mom and were with her night and day. Linda was right. I did need help. I’d dated a string of unavailable men. I’d been broken-hearted several times.

“Oh, my God. I don’t want that job! I’m supposed to be resting up there,” Mom exclaimed, knowing all too well how difficult the subject of “Mr. Right” was for me.

“Well, in that case, Mom, while you’re at it, do you think you could get me a book deal?” asked Linda only half-joking. She’d been working on a book for three years and had a handful of rejection slips from numerous publishers.

“Gee, you two! I’ll see what I can do,” she said, smiling weakly.

A few days later, Mom passed away peacefully, the two of us praying by her side, our weeping father at the foot of the bed.

At her memorial service, Linda and I recounted for the over 300 attendees what a giving, selfless, loving mother she was.

I told the story of the first time she met the most significant boyfriend in my turbulent past, Bill. Bill was a professional harmonica player. On this first meeting, we went to brunch with my parents for Easter. Bill was my first real boyfriend after high school—the first relationship I’d had in six years. My parents were understandably excited to be meeting him. I was very nervous and hopeful that all would go well. Much to my horror, my father was barraging Bill with a series of annoying questions before we’d even ordered. “When was the harmonica invented? . . . What keys do they come in? . . . How many can you play?” And on and on. I wanted to melt underneath my chair! I looked desperately to my mother for help. Noticing my frantic eyes, she chimed in, “So, Bill, how long have you two been seeing each other?”

This was helping?!

“Uh, about six months,” Bill replied.

“Gee,” said Mom, leaning forward and grinning widely, “Any thoughts of this getting serious?” I wanted to die.

“Not until this very moment,” Bill responded dryly.

In spite of it all, Bill and I went on to date for three years. He treated me like a queen and I grew to love him more every day. He felt ready to get married. I did not.We consequently broke up. I felt certain a world of wonderful men was waiting for me with open arms. I was wrong. With every new failed relationship, I’d weep to Linda, “Bill was so much better for me.” He, on the other hand, was in a committed relationship almost immediately after we broke up. I was devastated!

Bill and his new love moved 1,000 miles away to New Mexico after a year. I hoped this wouldmake things easier. As fate would have it, Linda called one day to inform me that she and her family had discovered an incredible land opportunity through Bill and weremoving to NewMexico as well, with Bill and his girlfriend right next door. They would never be out of my life.

For Christmas, three months after Mom’s death, my father and I went to see Linda and her family. I was very depressed without Mom.

We went to a big Christmas dinner. Bill was there. His girlfriend was away working for a few months. For the first time in the four years sincewe’d broken up, I felt very comfortable— as if he were an old friend. I was finally over it.

Two nights later, I was still really missing Mom. I decided to talk to her—something I had not yet done since she had died. I was staying by myself in a trailer a few minutes from Linda’s. I lit a candle and said, “Mom, I miss you. Come be with me.” The whole trailer immediately filled with brilliant white light. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I could see it just as brightly with my eyes closed. “Mom, is that you?” I asked. The light flickered in response. She had come! Very at peace, I went to sleep, the light of my mother’s essence encircling me.

Later that week, I had dinner with Bill. He confessed that he was still in love with me and that he couldn’t get me out of his mind.

“How long have you been feeling this way?” I asked, incredulous.

“It’s been especially intense since I saw you after your mother died. One look, and I knew we’d be together,” he explained. I was completely in shock. “I’ve been talking to your mother about this,” he said sweetly. “And you remember that first dinner I had with your mother when she asked if we were getting serious?” he said with a twinkle. “I think that meant she approves.”

We were married nine months later.

Linda sold her book to a very reputable, successful publishing company the month before our nuptials.

I sure hope Mom can get that rest now.

Carol Allen

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