On the first day of school I hesitated when I realized my mother would not be going with me.
I had been home schooled by her for a year. So it was natural to think my teacher mother should be with me.
She gently patted me on the back and said, “You go on now. I’ll be here when you come back.”
The night before I left home to go to college, we sat on the bed in the dark and talked for a long time. I was a little anxious then too. I told her I wished she could go with me. She said, “You’ll be fine. I’ll be here when you come back.”
When I got married and my husband’s army assignment was in Germany, I really had difficulty saying goodbye. I was not even sure how long it would be until I saw her again. But even with tears in her eyes, she said, “You go on now. I’ll be here when you come back.”
She was always there when I came back … always with open arms … always holding me close to her heart for a long time … but always releasing me when it was time.
The last time I saw my mother at home, I had a very hard time leaving. She was in her 90s. I sensed that the moments together were so precious I could not let them go.
I kept getting in the car, then getting back out for one more hug. Finally my mother gently pulled away and said, “You go on now. I’ll be here when you come back.”
Sometime later she and my father were in a car accident. She lay in a hospital bed, insistent that my husband and I not cancel a cruise we had planned for our anniversary.
I said, “But I would rather be with you.” She patted me on the hand and said, “Go make some memories. We can enjoy them together. I’ll be here when you come back.”
We went. We saw the most gorgeous sunset on the ocean I had ever seen. My mother saw it too … from the other side. She went to heaven at the very time of the sunset. We did share the time together.
Between the tears, I tried to adjust to a world where I could not see her physically. God gave me a beautiful picture of a bridge where once again I was with my mother. We hugged and walked and talked. We looked at the beauty around us.
Then she turned to go. I tried to follow. She moved away and with all The Love in the Universe that can be contained in a mother’s smile, she said, “You go on now. I’ll be here when you come back.”
There are days when life is very hard and God permits me to go back to that bridge. He fulfills His Promise.
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.
But for now, her answer to my pleas to go with her remain the same.
“You go on now. I’ll be here when you come back.”
I know she is with me now. I catch a glimpse of her when I look in the mirror. And I know one day I will see more, because she, like God, always keeps her promises. She will be there, waiting with outstretched arms to welcome me home!