He was her only son. Her only child.
It wasn’t any wonder then that she had always been a concerned mother, and she did what concerned mothers always do. She kept an eye on him. No, she wouldn’t want you to get her wrong. She didn’t smother him with her motherly love, nor did she harass him continually by demanding to know what he had been doing and why. She didn’t take the whole credit for it anyway, because her son, she believed, was a model child.
At least until three days ago. It was Christmas eve when she had first noticed something amiss in his behavior. He didn’t even look at all the Christmas decorations that she had so painstakingly done. The first thing she noticed about him was that his eyes were red and puffed. It was clear that he wasn’t getting enough sleep. Then she started noticing a few other things – he would lock himself into his room for hours, and then he would stagger out, make himself a pathetic sandwich, grab a coke, and return to his room.
At first, she thought that he was suffering from his first heartbreak, and that talking to him would help. So she had tried, but he had ignored her completely. Like she wasn’t there.
All her attempts to talk to him failed.
And then the party was the last straw.
Her son, who couldn’t be bothered to go to parties, had thrown one! Without telling her about it.
She was heartbroken. The boy who was her world had stopped talking to her, and now…
It was an odd gathering. She had expected only her son’s friends to be there. She wanted to talk to them – perhaps they could help her understand what was going on in his life, and help her deny or confirm her suspicions. But the guests were an odd assortment – their relatives, his friends, and even some of the neighbors.
Perhaps her son was growing up and learning the ways of the world.
Her chest filled with pride, when her son began speaking…
“My mother,” he said, his voice trembling with emotion, “was an extraordinary woman. When she lived, she was the axis of my life; now that she is no more, she shall be my compass…”
Image Attribution: By Carl Gugel (1820-1885) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons