This is a Journal Story submitted by Luis Spencer Freitas.
I’m a 29 years old Portuguese guy who lived in Portugal all my life. When I was 12 I said to my family that one day I’d move to New York. That one day I’d be where everything happens first than in any other place of the World. And of course, the first person to believe me was my mother.
I’ve always had the closest of relationships with my mother – we had a bond that was unbreakable. There were times that she had to bring me home from school because we needed some time to play together, just the two of us. We’d get depressed when there wasn’t enough time for us.
After her divorce from my father and having my brothers’ out of the house, we were always together, supporting each other throughout the good and the bad things in life – her boyfriends, my decisions, everything was shared and talked about. She was always saying “You will be big! You will be the best so easily!”. She always made me feel I could be anything I ever wanted.
Last November I was waiting for a special call – I had applied for a job in NYC. I didn’t tell anyone as I wanted to do it as undercover as possible as not to rise any expectations. It was a very good job, well payed and well recognized. It would be the move that could place me on the map, that could make me exceed. And one day in November, I received that call. They wanted me to come over to NYC for an interview. They scheduled it over the phone and took all the costs. I was ecstatic!
That day the entire family went for lunch. I was sitting across from my mother and thought many times to tell her about the interview. But I decided to keep it to myself as I didn’t want to raise any hopes – I decided I’d just say when the job was actually given to me! My mother asked me if there was anything wrong, to which I smiled and said absolutely nothing. Later that day, my mother passed away, without any of us even having the time to understand what had happened.
I lost the opportunity to tell her something that was important to me and to her because of a stupid reason. And I couldn’t forgive myself. A few days after the funeral I went for the interview. While going up the elevator I just spoke to myself “Please Mom, I want this. Help me not make a fool of myself. Help me make my dream come true”. I went through the interview and returned to Portugal.
Ten days after the interview, I hadn’t heard anything from the company. I was starting to lose some hope. That night I dreamt I was in an Airport. I remember it vividly as it were just a few seconds ago. I was walking down to the plane and I came across my mother in the corridor. It was night outside and she was staring out the window, watching the rain fall. I looked at her and she looked her best – tanned, beautiful hairy but looking a bit sleepy. I rushed to her and asked her why did it happen, how was she. She said she was fine, that I don’t need to worry. She was accompanied by a red haired flight attendant who smiled at me – she said that the flight attendant was the one who brought her there. I rushed and said “You know about New York right?!”. She replied with a smile “Yes, I do. I’m proud. I always knew you’d get there!”. There was little more time as I woke up. I cried a lot that morning but strangely felt at peace.
Two days later I received a phone call from New York – the job was mine. But somehow, since the dream I sort of knew it was mine. She assured it for me. Also, I learned something important – don’t waste time not being straightforward and telling important things to the people you love. Don’t play games trying to figure out if someone is interested in you, spend that time actually getting to know the person. Be honest about your feelings as you might not have time to be later. Go for that coffee with your friend instead of staying home because you are lazy. Take the time to look at your partner and say “I love you” just because. Take the time to call your family and let them into the joys of your life. Live each day knowing that nothing is left unsaid.
I moved to NYC and have achieved a dream – working in what I love in a city I can identify myself with. All of this while carrying my mother in my heart and the certainty that we’ll meet again. All of this knowing she is proud and happy where she is. All of this because I got my second chance to tell her “I love you”.