I've just finished watching all of 'Angels in America'. It was touching, funny, sad, moving and confusing. One scene really resonated with me. Al Pacino's character is in the hospital dying of Aids and he asks his employee (a closeted gay mormon) if he ever recieved a blessing from his father. When the employee answers 'no' Al Pacino proceeds to speak a blessing over him.
This scene made me think about the final conversations I had with both my parents. The last ever conversation I had with my dad was powerful and I blogged about it here. The last conversation I had with my mum was as inconsequential as dad's was powerful.
The last conversation I had with mum was about nothing - she had just been put on morphine and was losing touch with reality. She spent 10 minutes telling me about how paper hankerchiefs are so much better for our noses than cloth ones. It wasn't exactly a benediction.
Dad blessed me just before his death, I think he was aware of the distance between me. But between mum and I no such distance existed so there was no need of a blessing to close the gap.
Dad's last words to me were 'You're lovely you are'. Dad affirmed who I was. Mum told me to use paper hankerchiefs because she cared about my health. Both of them loved me and wanted the best for me.
Sometimes a kleenex is as much a benediction as a spoken word.