"You know what, my love? I think I'm going to give you the twenty third of March."
The little boy looked up at me from his cereal and tilted his head slightly, as though pondering this. Then, he frowned. "Mama. That's not possible. How can you give me a day? Days can't be gifts!"
He got that incorrigible logic from his father. I smiled and wiped my hands on the dishcloth, moving to sit besides him. He was at that age where his eyes were huge, questioning and innocent, that age where pain was sometimes only healed when measured in love. I ran my hand through his thick, dark hair. "Yes, you can."
The spoon filled with milk and chocolate cereal clattered back into the bowl as he leaned back and crossed his arms. "No, you cannot. Da told me so."
"Yes, you can. I'm giving one to you, aren't I?"
"It's easy. A day is made of hours. And those hours are made of moments. Moments are so special, my sweet love. They are tiny, and they are supposed to be insignificant, but they are not. They are spectacular. In these moments, you are happy and sad. You smile and cry. And it is these moments that your life comes down to. You won't ever remember a whole day. But you will remember the moment you smiled the most, the moment you laughed the hardest, the person who made you happiest."
His eyes were bigger, with awe. "Really mama?"
I nodded. "If you live it the right way, a moment can be the best year of your life. And I'm going to give you a whole day of the happiest moments ever. Do you know how many moments a day has in it?"
A smile lifted the corners of his mouth. "A million."
He inherited his gift of exaggeration from me.
He looked down at his cereal. "So you're going to give me a million years, mama?"
"If you let me. Yes." An odd little headache had placed itself squarely in the middle of my forehead. I blinked. He was smiling at me. Words were coming out of his mouth, and I couldn't hear them anymore. Perhaps if I just closed my eyes for a moment...
My eyes opened to find an empty table, a cold chair and the sun a little dimmer than it was before. It is only in this moment that I could distinguish my dream from reality. It swam back to me from the abyss of a sleep soaked daze. The blood, the loss of consciousness, the medication, the white, bleach scented walls.
A shaken, broken breath arched my back as I stood. Tears felt uncomfortably close. And then...I stopped.
A moment can be the best year of your life.
The twenty minutes I spent with you in a dream were the best years of my life.
Even God can be kind sometimes.