Not long ago I was asked to audio record some final words from a young mother who was dying from cancer. I’ll call her Sonia to protect the family’s privacy. She was in her early thirties and she wanted to leave something for her only child, a five-year-old boy.
The day I met her, I asked what she would like to say to her little boy. It was not easy. The anguish of her never seeing her son again made it hard for Sonia to say what was in her heart. But with patience and time we were able to record a few minutes of her tender wishes and hopes for her boy.
I realized that we were not likely to get more. But a thought struck me. “What about bedtime stories?” I asked Sonia if she read to her boy and if he had some favorite stories. She smiled and nodded. “How would you like to select a couple and we could record you reading them?” She agreed and on my next visit, although she was weak, she softly read the stories that her son had enjoyed. That was the last thing we recorded. Not long after Sonia died.
In all we had recorded little more than half an hour. Not much really. But as I thought about her son and the wonderful gift his mother had left, I was deeply moved. It wasn’t a question of the amount we had recorded. It was that Sonia’s little boy would still be able to hear her comforting voice. And one day, as a man, he would be able to listen to those bedside stories and remember his mother, a mother who died much too soon. Small can indeed be profound.
Photo by Gaël
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