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Mother and Son

In honor of Timothy Joseph Conley, Jr.

and his mom, my friend, Sue Ellen Hayman Monaghan

My friend stood so close to her son’s casket that guests didn’t have room to kneel and pray…for him, for her, for all of the family.

She looked tired, somewhat gaunt, but strong, sinewy strong. Her dark eyes were distant; she wasn’t fully present. She hugged us both…and then talked, although the long line of mourners snaked throughout the funeral parlor and out along the sidewalk in the cold night. She wanted to talk, tell us what she saw, what it felt like, what she thought now. She held us tight.

Suddenly, with clear eyes that pierced mine, she said, “You. Maybe you can write this.”

And then she described the five days in the critical care unit where she waited. It was so hard, she said, but he’s in a good place now. It’s all good. She was making her peace, so quickly really.

She told us she wasn’t allowed to sleep in Tim’s room, but slept nearby. And the night he died, she said she knew.

That’s when she tilted her head, and again her eyes pierced mine. “It’s so hard to put this into words. There’s something about a mother and her son. There’s a connection.”

My tears flowed.

Yes. Yes, there is a deep connection, a spiritual attachment, one to the other, him of her, her in him.

Her words describing it are as good as it gets….because we understand.

We feel her intensity, and the love for the young man she’ll carry with her all the rest of her days, this mother for her son.

Rest in peace Timothy Joseph Conley, Jr. 1989-2014

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