I was upstairs sitting on the couch writing when I heard the sobs. I ran downstairs immediately. Mom was sitting in her favorite spot on the seat by the window, looking out, unable to control her tears. I sat down and put my arm around her. Mom tried to divert attention from her sad attack by asking me what I was going to do. I told her I was going to sit and comfort her and asked if that was alright.
It was a stunning surprise when Mom said yes. During all previous sad attacks Mom stiffened and did what was necessary to get herself under control. That was the way it had always been. This time however, Mom relaxed against me and said, "I don't know what happens. Every once in a while I am simply overcome by a great sadness".
Not too long after I sat down the black cloud over Mom showed signs of thinning. The downpour of sobs became just the occasional shower of tears. During one of the more frequent sunny breaks Mom said, "You know, I just wonder sometimes where all the time has gone". She could have gone on to say, "90 years behind me and very few in front of me, sitting on this bench waiting for the last bus out of town. It is so sad to think that the trip is almost over. Where have I been? What have I done? Does any of it matter?"
Is it any wonder Mom has sad attacks. These are troubling thoughts that can form a cloud over any one of us if we let them. Most of us don't because we maintain a life that leaves neither time nor room for these thoughts. However, the older we get the less able we are to avoid them. I thank God I don't have a life so that I am able to help Mom end her sad attacks before she is able to cry enough to drown in her own tears. This, is a blessing.