I did not see that coming. It was only a conversation about the early days of personal computers. But it did unlock memories that for a moment, brought me back in time to see my mom laughing, for the last time.

Children do have an inquisitive mind and my son, Rinaldo, is no different. He wanted to know about the fun games back when the personal computer was new and not a lot of people owned one.

Today, out of the box, computers could play high definition videos and multi-channel music. So, it is hard to imagine that three decades ago, the best that computers could do was to make beeping sounds.

Think of it like this. During those primitive times, we were the cavemen. So, when a company released a sound card that allows a computer to play music, it was like we discovered fire.

A few years later, in 1991, a company released a 16-bit sound card that could play stereo music. For us the cavemen, it was like we discovered how to start a fire.

“What does it do?” Rinaldo asked me.

So, I told him about how revolutionary the sound card was at that time and how we were so excited.

And then I told him about the parrot.

The Talking Parrot

So, what are some of the things you do when you have a new phone, laptop, car, or a house?

Did you shop for accessories or anything else to protect, enhance or decorate?

I was a computer geek and before I got my hands on a sound card, I read up all about it in magazines. Today, reading up means starting a search using Google. Back then, we had to buy magazines. Everything was so much more expensive too, so it took several months to save up for one sound card.

Finally, the day came when I got my hands on a sound card. As quick as possible, I installed the sound card and turned on the computer.

Inside the package was a diskette that contains a demo software called Talking Parrot. Of course, I installed it and loaded it up. It turned out to be a fun demo software that repeats what I said on the microphone. But instead of my voice, it distorts the sound to make it sound like a parrot.

And then my mom came into the room.

Mom Laughing

I handed the microphone to my mom and told her to say something, which she did. So, the parrot repeated what she said, to her amusement. She started talking in Chinese, which the parrot did too.

My brother and I were there in our bedroom. Our mom was sitting at the edge of the bed holding a microphone in her hand. We were watching and laughing with her. Not only was she speaking, she was also singing a few lines, which the parrot tried as hard as it could to mimic.

It was the last time I saw my mom laughing.

A few days later, we had to bring her to a hospital and a little after two weeks, she died.

Ordinary Moments Become Special

Tears rolled down as I told Rinaldo about the last time I saw my mom laughing. He would never know his grandmother in person. She passed away so long ago that all that I have left of her are memories.

In remembering and reliving that moment seeing my mom laughing hard, I realized something.

Any moment with someone you love becomes special when that person is gone. Click To Tweet

For us who have lost our moms, and in my case, both my parents, all I have are memories.

In personal development and self-help, how does a person become a good communicator? One of the most common advice given is to call a person by the first name. It is a great way to connect because, for most people, the most beautiful sound in the world is the sound of their name.

I disagree.

The most beautiful sound I heard was the sound of my mom laughing. Click To Tweet

All I have of her are memories. I know some of you miss your mom like I do. But if she still lives, give her a call now and talk to her. Let her know how much you love her before it is too late.

I can talk to my mom today, pray, whisper, or even shout. But I will never see her laugh again, nor will I ever hear the sound of her laughter.

Do you know how it feels to lose a mother?

My son is too young to understand, but it was good that he asked questions, because somehow, I went back more than 20 years in time to see mom laughing and listen to her voice, one more time.