My mother never told me she loved me. Not even when I was born and not even when I had recovered from breast cancer. After my flute recital when I was six, she told me that I played wonderfully. After being awarded student of the year when I was in the eighth grade, she said I was intelligent. The night I went to prom, albeit stag, she told me I was beautiful. A few years later when I graduated from college, she said that I was a worthy role model. On my wedding day, as she held a dampened handkerchief to her eyes, she told me she would miss me. But never did she once tell me she loved me.
As a child, that was all I wanted. Each year as I blew off the candles on my birthday cake, I wished with all my might that she would say it. Every time I saw a shooting star, she was the person who came to mind. Growing up I realized that birthday wishes don’t come true and shooting stars do not have any power over us. Still. I wanted it more than anything.
“I love you, mom.” I would say whenever I left her home.
“Good-bye, dear.” She would always say in reply.
At the age of ninety-three she passed away in her sleep. It was on the day of her funeral, as her casket was lowered into the earth, when I realized that all my birthday wishes had come true and all of my desires had been granted by those shooting stars. She never once had to tell me that she loved me, because I felt it everyday.
What are words compared to the look in her eyes? The same look she gave me when I was born, to the last day of her life, and everything else in between.