I always knew my mother loved me.
When I was small, she would always give me the best cuts of meat, and watch me eat, smiling, over her bread and butter.
When I was bigger, she would give me money to take my friends out for dinner and drinks, and herself sit alone in the dark, afraid to turn the lights on for fear of not being able to pay the bill.
You should always appreciate the sacrifices your parents make for you. Especially if you have a mother who says that she loves you more than life itself.
So when I was fully grown, I invited my mother on a road trip, to see the glass towers of the big city, sunset over the ocean, the endless forest and timeless hills.
Unfortunately, we became lost. It has been three weeks now since we left the path to follow a green-gold lizard to its hiding place. Three weeks since we circled back, and back again, and called out into the olive-grey wilderness. Three weeks since we have seen anyone but each other, and yet, her love for me is strong as ever.
“I’m only afraid,” she says, smiling weakly, “that I’ll die soon, and then you’ll be alone, with no one to look after you.”
“Don’t die,” I implore her. “I need you.”
When at last they come, with their whistles and stretchers and fluoro jackets, my mother’s eyes turn to me.
“Take care of my little boy.”
The paramedic holds out his hand to her, but she can’t respond. She has no hands. Gagging, he lifts the chewed, limbless trunk on to a stretcher.
I am as well as could be expected, although I don’t know how I’ll get along without my mother. She always said she would lay down her life for me, Now she has laid it.
I wonder if I will ever be able to find a woman to replace such devotion. I think I owe it to myself to try.