When my mother died in February of 2006, I spent many a night asking myself if all that she was--all that she had the potential to be--had died with her. A few months later, I found myself discussing a similar topic with someone who would later become a very dear friend indeed. He and I spoke about our individual longings, pondering the question of whether one truly could "follow his [or her] heart. Of late, I have found myself lying in bed tormented by the question of whether my mother, Ms. Katie, was aware of the impact she made upon this world in her brief seventy-four year occupation upon it...and if my own four decades have by any means impacted upon this same world in any positive way.
This past week, I have been fortunate enough to have had the encouragement of someone I both admire and trust. And, he has assured me that my presence--as a person and a writer--made some small difference in his life. Realistically, it is more than feasible that he would only say as much to bring succor to me during this time, when my fate is uncertain and my future, ultimately, bleak. (After all, I have had the sinking suspicion on more than one occasion that this particular "friend" is more than capable of telling a whopper of a tall tale when it suits his purposes!) Even so, the fact that I now sit furiously scribbling the words forming in my hazy recesses of my oxygen-starved brain tells me that I have been given at least the hope that if I do depart from this Earth in the near future, my time here was not completely wasted.
My mother may not have had that assurance.
For that very reason, I am all the more grateful that someone took the time to make sure that I have.