If I had been asked this a year ago, I wouldn’t have hesitated to pick some influential or historical person. Abe Lincoln or George Washington were go-to favorites. Or even one of the famous composers (Beethoven) or maybe an artist (Van Gogh). I used to have a list of people I’d love to sit down over tea with for various reasons. I love history, and have this insatiable desire to know ‘why.’ I would have relished the insight a chat with a historical figure could have given, be it for their creativity, their career, or their choices.
I find that today, without a doubt, the person I would want to spend an hour with would be my son. And I would be totally okay if he were not the newborn I had to say goodbye to, but a little boy, a teenager, or an adult man — because they say that in Heaven, you exist in the state you are supposed to be in, whether it is young or old. And regardless of his age, I’d wrap him in my arms and the only thing I think I’d say is ‘I love you.’ Because that’s the one thing I didn’t get to say enough of. And I would memorize his face. Touch his hands.
I wouldn’t ask him questions, because the things he knows now aren’t for me, yet. I wouldn’t quiz him on his happiness in the hereafter, or try to make him feel guilty for leaving us so soon.
Just, ‘I love you.’
I still love you. Always, Michael. Always.
Oh, and I would cry, of course I would cry great, rolling tears like I am right now just thinking about it, especially when that hour ended. It wouldn’t, couldn’t last. It could never replace the years we should have had together as a family. But it would be such a gift. A beautiful, priceless hour. And he would know that we loved him with our hearts and souls, because that’s all that matters.
It’s the only thing that matters.