8: Mom’s Goodnight Kiss

8: Mom’s Goodnight Kiss

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

Mom’s Goodnight Kiss

A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.

~Author Unknown

On December 10, 2007, the bottom fell out of my world. My mom died — a sad end to her nearly twenty-year struggle with rheumatoid arthritis.

Mom was smart and funny, kind and beautiful. She charmed everyone who met her and, even through her illness, worked tirelessly to find forever homes for cats and dogs. Not a week goes by that I don’t meet someone who knew Mom, and they always say the same thing: “I was just thinking about your mom the other day.” Then they’ll tell me a story of her thoughtfulness or compassion or humor. What a legacy she left, remembered so often, so fondly, and so well by so many!

But a little over a month after we lost her, all I could think about was how much I missed her. We’d talked on the phone several times each day for years, saw each other several times a week, living just a few blocks apart. The hole in my life was enormous, raw, and exhausting. I was lying on the living room sofa a few days after what would’ve been Mom’s seventy-third birthday. I wasn’t asleep, but not fully awake either.

Suddenly, I felt a firm, steady pressure against my mouth. It was so strong that I could feel my lip pressing into my teeth. I opened my eyes, wondering what it was. When I reached my hand to my lips, I knew. It had been Mom kissing me goodnight, just as she’d done when I was a girl.

I smiled through my tears. I didn’t tell my husband, who sat across the room. He’d say I’d been dreaming. So I kept it close to my heart, and felt comforted more than words can say.

The next day, my whole family gathered at Mom’s house for the sad task of sorting belongings. I found myself alone in Mom’s bedroom with my sister-in-law, Elizabeth. She’s a spiritual and philosophical person, so I shared my experience with her. “I know it was Mom kissing me goodnight,” I concluded. We hugged and cried a little.

Later that night, back at the home she shares with my brother, she told Tom the story. Only then did he tell her the very same thing had happened to him, the same night, around the same time! He’d been in bed, somewhere between waking and sleeping, when he had felt a surprisingly strong pressure on his mouth.

“I could really feel it, pushing against my teeth,” he told me when we talked.

He hadn’t mentioned it to anyone either, not knowing what to make of it.

But I’m certain it was Mom, reassuring us she was okay, proving there’s a life beyond, bestowing one more gesture of her unending love.

In the days and years since, I’ve thought often of that kiss and have selfishly wanted more, of course. But the memory never fails to soothe my grieving heart and always makes me smile.

Amazing when she was here with us, Mom is amazing still.

Love never dies.

~Kate Fellowes

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