I drop by between classes to check on my mom. She is sleeping peacefully. It’s a welcome sight in light of how hard it is to be old, bedridden, and completely dependent—everything she never wanted to be. Dimming awareness is merciful.

I still see her as she was—strong, generous, kind, and full of grit. I can’t recall even one instance where either of my parents acted selfishly or put their own needs and desires above the needs and desires of others. I’m sure there were times, but I do not remember them. I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness for everything my parents stood for. They were courageous, principled, faithful, loving.

I remember taking her to the door to watch the sunset a couple of weeks ago. She was only mildly aware of her surroundings. It had been a hard day for her. A caregiver had been less than gentle. That always leaves her out of sorts.

“It is good to forgive,” I whispered in her ear as we watched the light disappear. “You taught me that.”

“I don’t recall saying that,” she said, cocking her head away from mine.

“That’s why I’m here to remind you.”

I kissed her cheek as the sun disappeared across the field and prayed that someday someone will be there to remind me, too.