All those years we missed added
3-18-98 by Alice Collins
My Friend Debbie's two daughters were
in high school when she experienced severe flu-like symptoms. Debbie
visited her family doctor, who told her the flu bug had passed her by.
Instead, she had been touched by the "love bug" and was now
The birth of Tommy, a healthy, beautiful son, was an
event for celebration, and as time went by, it seemed as though every day
brought another reason to celebrate the gift of Tommy's life. He was
sweet, thoughtful, fun-loving and a joy to be around.
One day when Tommy was about five years old, he and
Debbie were driving to the neighborhood mall. As is the way with children,
out of nowhere, Tommy asked, "Mom, how old were you when I was
"Thirty-six, Tommy. Why?" Debbie asked,
wondering what his little mind was contemplating.
"What a shame!" Tommy responded.
"What do you mean?" Debbie inquired, more
than a little puzzled.
Looking at her with love-filled eyes, Tommy said,
"Just think of all those years we didn't know each other."
A young woman named Mary gave birth
to her first child, and because her husband was on military duty, she
spent a couple of weeks after the birth at the home of her parents.
One day Mary mentioned to her mother that she was
surprised the baby's hair was reddish, when both she and her husband were
"Well, Mary," said her mother, "you must
remember, your daddy's hair is red."
"But Mamma," said Mary, "that doesn't
make any difference because I'm adopted."
With a little smile, Mamma said the loveliest words
that her daughter had ever heard: "I always forget."
The Day I Was Too Busy added
"Mommy, look!" cried my daughter, Darla, pointing to a chicken
hawk soaring through the air.
"Uh huh," I murmured, driving, lost in thought about the
tight schedule of my day.
Disappointment filled her face.
"What's the matter, Sweetheart?" I asked, entirely dense.
"Nothing," my seven-year-old said.
The moment was gone.
home, we slowed to search for the albino deer that comes out from behind
the thick mass of trees in the early evening. She was nowhere to be seen.
"Tonight, she has too many things to do," I said.
Dinner, baths and phone calls filled the hours until bedtime.
"Come on, Darla, time for bed!"
raced past me up the stairs. Tired, I kissed her on the cheek, said
prayers and tucked her in.
"Mom, I forgot to give you something!" she said.
patience was gone. "Give it to me in the morning," I said, but
she shook her head.
"You won't have time in the morning!" she retorted.
"I'll take time," I answered defensively. Sometimes no
matter how hard I tried, time flowed through my fingers like sand in an
hourglass, never enough. Not enough for her, for my husband, and
definitely not enough for me.
wasn't ready to give up yet. She wrinkled her freckled little nose in
anger and swiped away her chestnut brown hair. "No, you won't! It
will be just like today when I told you to look at the hawk. You didn't
even listen to what I said."
too weary to argue; she hit too close to the truth. "Good
night!" I shut her door with a resounding thud.
though, her gray-blue gaze filled my vision as I thought about how little
time we really had until she was grown and gone.
husband asked, "Why so glum?"
"Maybe she's not asleep yet. Why don't you check," he said with
all the authority of a parent in the right.
followed his advice, wishing it was my own idea. I cracked open her door,
and the light from the window spilled over her sleeping form. In her hand
I could see the remains of a crumpled paper.
I opened her palm to see what the item of our disagreement had been. Tears
filled my eyes. She had torn into small pieces a big red heart with a poem
she had written titled, "Why I Love My Mother!"
carefully removed the tattered pieces. Once the puzzle was put back into
place, I read what she had written:
Love My Mother
Although you're busy, and you work so hard
You always take time to play
I love you Mommy because
I am the biggest part of your busy day!
words were an arrow straight to the heart. At seven years old, she had the
wisdom of Solomon.
minutes later I carried a tray to her room, with two cups of hot chocolate
with marshmallows and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
softly touched her smooth cheek, I could feel my heart burst with love.
Her thick dark lashes lay like fans against her lids as they fluttered,
awakened from a dreamless sleep, and she looked at the tray.
"What is that for?" she asked, confused by this late-night
"This is for you, because you are the most important part of my busy
smiled and sleepily drank half her cup of chocolate. Then she drifted back
to sleep, not really understanding how strongly I meant what I said.