When I looked into the cupboard at my mom’s house to find some chocolate, I found a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne. That bottle is standing there for years waiting to be opened. I gave that bottle to her without any special reason and several times I asked her if we all should just open that bottle. Unfortunately, even Christmas wasn’t special enough to enjoy it. Or actually, every occasion was special enough. She didn’t want to open the bottle because it will then be gone forever. And it will take with it all nice occasions to drink that bottle.
Time took all the nice occasions instead.
See, I don’t live nearby my mom. 818 km further away to be exact. We talk to each other on the phone a lot and I’m there about 4 times a year. But, still. It’s not that easy to just bring a new bottle. Or at least that is how she felt more and more. The older she got the more emotional she became. Sometimes she even started crying a little when I left. Like my grandma who cried every time we left. We didn’t live nearby my grandma, either. My mom hated the last cry. I do, too. It makes it too hard to leave. You start feeling guilty for not living closer. For making her cry. Why the cry? That visit won’t be the last one, right?
On August the 27th, my mom called me whimpering. She doesn’t feel good at all. She wasn’t OK for a longer time, because she is fighting cancer since the beginning of last year. This time, however, I knew I had to come to her ASAP. So I did. I took the bus and 15 hours later I arrived. Little did I know then that I won’t be back home for the next two months.
Her husband and I traveled daily to see my mom in a hospital. Some were close, but most weren’t. The weather was mostly perfect which made the breathtaking travels through the mountains somewhat easier. We had a routine. Get up, get coffee, get dressed, get in the car, get to my mom, get back home, get dinner, get to bed. It’s nothing, actually not even worth mentioning compared to what my mom had to go through in these two months.
When I found the champagne in the cupboard, my mom was already at the palliative care center for about a week. She was kind of doing well, oddly enough. The next morning, I took that bottle of Moët & Chandon with me. If there would be a good moment to drink that bottle of champagne, it would be now, right? But something happened. She wasn’t able to eat and drink anymore. I opened it anyway. I gave her a glass she couldn’t drink. We talked. Then I talked and she gave signs. Then I talked and she listened.
Three days later, my mom died.
From now on, I will have a bottle of Moët & Chandon in my cupboard. I will drink it when I feel like it. And I will buy a new one when I drank it. I will make sure that every occasion, no matter how big or small, will have its own bottle of Moët & Chandon.