After two decades of marriage, a man’s wife wanted him to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you just as much and would love to spend more time with you.”
The other woman was his mother, who had been widowed for close to 19 years. The demands of the man’s career and family life had gotten in the way of spending more time with her as the years went on, and he had only been able to occasionally visit.
That night, the man called his mother to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.
“What’s wrong?” she asked. “Are you well?”
He replied, “I thought it would be nice to spend some time with you. Just the two of us.”
She thought about it for a second and then said, “I would like that very much.”
So that Friday after work, the man drove over to her house to pick her up. He was feeling a bit nervous, since he couldn’t remember the last time the two had spent any time together one-on-one. When he got to her door, he saw that she had curled her hair and was wearing the same dress she wore to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. Her smile was bright and beaming.
“I told my friends that I was going out with my son tonight and they were quite impressed,” she said as she was getting into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our evening.”
The two went to a restaurant that was nice and cozy. After they sat down, the man had to read the menu for his mother. Halfway through reading the entrees, he lifted his eyes and saw his mother sitting there just staring at him with a smile on her face.
“It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said.
“Then it’s time you relax and let me return the favor,” he responded.
During the dinner, the two exchanged pleasant conversation – nothing extraordinary, just catching up on each other’s lives. They actually talked so much they missed the movie.
And as they arrived back at the mother’s house at the end of the night, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” He agreed.
When the man got home, his wife asked, “How was your dinner date?”
“Very nice. Much more so than I could ever have imagined,” he answered.
A few days later, his mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that there wasn’t anything anyone could have done.
A few weeks later, the man received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the place where he had dined with his mother. Attached to the receipt was a note that read, “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 truly meant for me. I love you, son.”
It was that moment that the son understood the importance of saying “I love you,” and giving our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than family.
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