March 8, 2013 started off as a typical Friday. Friday has always been my favorite day of the week. I went to work as usual. School begins at 8:45 and anyone who knows me, knows not to bother calling me during school hours because they know I won’t answer my phone. That is why, when my phone began vibrating on my desk at 9:00, I was surprised. I saw the number on the phone and it was coming from my parents house. Strange. My parents knew better than anyone that I won’t pick up so I couldn’t figure out why one of them would be calling. My students were all engaged in their morning work and I decided to let it go to voice mail. Worry got the best of me though, so I grabbed it and whispered a quick,
“Hello, I can’t talk now, why are you calling me at work?”
It was my mom. She said in her normal sing song voice,
“Hell-o. I made a reservation for six o’clock at The Reservoir.”
“Okay mom,” I said, “just like every Friday.”
“See you later,” she said.
Every Friday since I was young, we have Friday night dinner together. Usually at The Reservoir, a local Italian restaurant in town. Every Friday, it is at six o’clock. So why the phone call? I never got to ask her because she stopped breathing on her way to dinner.
I did not think about the phone call for a few days after that. We went on with our lives as best as we could for that week she was kept alive on life support, but she never woke up. Now, I am convinced that somehow…although it seems hokey or cliched, there was a reason for that morning phone call.
I talked to my mom every single day. Usually more than once. Obviously she could not have known what was going to happen that night. I am convinced thought, that somehow, it was her way of saying goodbye. I wish I had been nicer when she called instead of so abrupt. If only I could have know it would be our last conversation. I wonder what we would have talked about…
Back in October, I realized that on my phone had voice mail messages saved from my mom. None of them were of any “importance.” They all began the same way, “Hell-o…”
I found a way to save them to my computer so that I will have them forever. Although I have only listened to them a few times, I have occasionally found Drew listening to them and smiling. With technology, something mom never took the time to figure out, I have been able to find a way to preserve her voice.
We all miss her and think of her everyday. I am grateful that I answered the phone that morning. We never know when “later” may come, so I will take her words and just say, “See you later mom.”
Tagged: grief, last conversation with mom, missing mom, one year later, see you later, the last phone call, voice mail
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