I just brought my mom to the airport. We said goodbye. Is this the last time?

This time she walked towards the security control and I turned back to go to the exit. We had just dropped off her luggage. She had a little carry on in her hand that she wanted to take into the aircraft. She started to walk slowly, I was left staring at her back. How little she was as she dragged her little carry on. If her hair were not white and she did not have her hunchback, I would have mistaken her for a child. Is this the last time?

This scene occurred maybe a hundred times in my life. Each time one of us walking towards the security, the other towards the exit. This last time today is the one which hurt me the most. The very first time must have hurt her the most. When I first left her in Istanbul 24 years ago to go study abroad.

It hurt me so much that I didn’t know what to do with the pain. I tried to look at some shops at the airport. So meaningless. I came back home and warmed up the bread she was eating at the breakfast and started eating that. Trying to be still with her. Trying to continue our breakfast from the morning as if she has not left.

She came to see the flat that I bought a few months ago. I was able to buy it because mom and I had sold our flat in Istanbul a few years ago. That flat had been our life, her and mine. Once that was gone, her greatest wish in life became seeing my own flat before she is gone too. I was so excited to show her my flat and she was so happy and content, simply content, to see it. She told me that now she can pass away lighthearted.

Our goodbyes at the airports used to be adventures, they were source of laughters, angers, misfortunes and joy. Our goodbyes now are a question mark. Is this the last time?

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