I’d not thought about, or expected, a card that year. The prior months had been dreadful as we watched Mom’s health spiral downward. At Dad’s age, the ordeal eventually took a terrible toll on him as well. Especially when he realized Mom’s only option was to live out her final days in a nursing home. She would never come home again and soon Dad would be alone for the first time in his life.
Yet, there it was…a birthday card, and the only one I had ever received without Mom’s familiar handwriting. I didn’t even feel the need to open it, for Dad’s efforts told me all I needed to know, and more. I cradled it like a priceless breakable and wept buckets of tears. Some for a card I would always hold dear, others for the sorrowful changes taking place in the lives of those I loved.
When I did open the card…the sentiment was lovely and it was obvious much thought had been given to the selection. Although it was signed “Mom and Dad,” never had I seen my parent’s names written by Dad…another gloomy reminder of what was to come. Mom would not be with us much longer.