These memories are yours. I saved them for you during all this time together, from the first day we met. Like the burning embers of time, they will forever blaze in your mind, tokens of a lifetime spent over such a short period. The day I was born, the first time I gazed into your eyes from my warm bundle while you cradled me in your arms, the first word, the first steps, the first defiance. The first day at school, the first talk about death, the first Christmas gift I gave you, the first date I had.

The prom. The car. The graduation.

The dorm. The bills. The jobs. The grades. The argument over me quitting college so that I could try to "live life on life's terms."

The first arrest. The first engagement. The first heartfelt thank you that I ever delivered.

The first awkward discussion about my wife. The first child. The first sleepless night of confusion as I watched myself grow up all over again in the form of that child.

The first mortgage. The first book. The first death. The last death. Mine.

I never saw it coming, Mom. I was a good kid, for the most part, and I was a good father and I was doing good things. I was happy and I was alive and I loved you and everyone in my life. I was missing Dad and wondering how you were getting along. I was crossing the street for work. It was an accident.

Cherish these memories, Mom. They're yours as much as they are mine.

I'll be waiting. Don't take too long, please. It's heaven here and there's more memories ahead. Those are yours, too.

I see you, Mom, in your chair for weeks now, crying over the insanity of what happened to me. I watch you every day and I smile every time you remember me as your golden-haired son. I laugh when you smile ruefully at the hellish times I put you and Dad through. And every tear that falls from your chin is like a silent prayer to me, one that only I can hear. I hear you, Mother, and I'm waiting.

Take your time, but don't torture yourself. You were perfect to me. I'm here because of you, in a place of absolute bliss. This is your destiny, Mom.

You have nothing to fear as long as you remember. Those memories have been set aside, reserved, just for you. They will guide you if you let them, Mother, right back to your son.

The chills, the movies, taking out the trash, holding hands at Disney Land, the first Halloween, the first time I snuck out to be with a girl, Dad's funeral, our first hello, our last goodbye..............

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