After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my mother, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.
That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s.
After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entrees, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,”she said.
During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation –nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie.
A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her.
Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”