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"Nothing in life is more important than God and your family."

The following story was sent to me by a frequent Prayerbook site visitor. It brought back fond memories of the time I spent every weekend with my beloved Mother. In my case, it is impossible to read without tears because of my love for this "Other Woman." I hope you find this story of interest and will take a "closer look" at your life and the family around you.

After 21 years of marriage, I have discovered a new way of keeping alive the spark of love. A short time ago I started going out with another woman.  It was really my wife's idea.  "I know that you love her," she said one day, taking me by surprise.

"But I love YOU," I protested.

"I know, but you also love her," she said.

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my mother, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called my mother to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.  "What's wrong, are you well?" she asked. My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.

"I thought that it would be nice to pass some time with you," I responded.

"Just the two of us?" She thought about it for a moment then said, "I would like that very much."

That Friday, after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our "date."  She waited in the doorway with her coat on.  She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary.  She smiled from a face that was
as radiant as an angel's.

"I told my friends that I was going out with my son tonight and they were impressed," she said, as she got into the car. "They can't wait to hear about our date."

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy.  My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu for her because her eyes could only read the large print.

Half way through the entrée, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me with a nostalgic smile was on her lips.

"It was I who used to have to read the menu to you when you were small," she said.

"Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor," I responded.

During the dinner we had an agreeable conversation -- nothing extraordinary -- just catching up on recent events of each other's lives.

We talked so much that we missed the movie.  As we arrived at her house
later, she said "I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite
you."  I agreed.

"How was your dinner date?" asked my wife when I got home.

"Very nice," I replied. "Much more so than I could have imagined."

A few days later my mother died of a massive heart attack.  It happened so
suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything more for her.  Some time later I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined.  An attached note said:

"I paid this bill in advance because I was almost sure that I couldn't be there but, nevertheless, I paid for two plates -- one for you and the other for you wife.  You will never know what that night meant for me.  I love you."

At that moment I understood the importance of saying "I LOVE YOU" while there was time, and giving our loved ones the thought that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than God and your family.  Give them the time they deserve, because these things should never be put off until "some other time."

Author Unknown




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