Saturday, January 9, 2010


So, I am not sure what grief day I am on. It's got to be somewhere around Day 50. But this post is going to be an official "grief post" and in some ways a note to my sister. If you're sick of the drivel - catch me later.

Let me preface this by saying that usually I HATE to talk on the phone. Usually I consider phone conversations intrusive and a total and complete waste of time. There are several reasons I dislike them that I will not go into now - that is for another post. That being said, one thing I miss most about my ma is how on Tuesdays and Thursdays we would usually talk on the phone. More than a few Tuesdays or Thursdays during December I actually picked up the phone to call her before remembering that she would not be on the other end to talk to me. I would be momentarily sad, but then I would just have the conversation picturing her listening to me in her garden in heaven. And, if by slim chance you've read Alice Sebold's 'The Lovely Bones' this will resonant with you.

What was so great about mom and what I so miss is that something would happen to one of us and we would pick up the phone and call the other person. These were not monumental things. In fact, most times they were trivial - how cold was it there? It was TWENTY here. Is it raining there? It's pouring here (yes, you know old people are obsessed with weather and when an old person is your parent you become obsessed with weather, too). You'll never guess who I saw in HEB. Can you pray for so-and-so they are going through a really tough time. And on and on it went. Days changing to suit our schedules....but weeks upon weeks and years upon years.

When we would start a conversation like this sometimes it led to deeper and richer things - "a new phase in life is the preparation for death." "Reconciliation in the Catholic church has changed over the years." "Sometimes your participation in your child's education can be critical." Or sometimes it just stayed light and ended with a promise to call again later in the week. Either way I would always hang up the phone with an I love you and usually mom would end with a God bless you. It was never intrusive, it was always time well-spent, and it always made my day better no matter how good or bad my day was going.

Since late December one of my sisters has been staying with my dad as a caretaker/roommate. So, January is here and I have spoken to said sister on the phone now (I think) four times. Crazy. I don't think I've talked to her four times in a year in my whole life. Not that we don't get along or there's any bad blood (wow - I should get extra blog points for working that phrase in) - no skeleton in the closet. Just don't talk to her much on the phone. After all - talking on the phone is NOT one of my favorite things to do. ;o)

So, my first official day back to work was last Tuesday. I was furiously doing prints and she called. To be perfectly honest, at first I was a little frustrated (I am always running behind on virtually everything). So, I was a little surprised at how easily the conversation ebbed and flowed around us. It wasn't really effort. I had a lovely chat with her and when we hung up I felt more than a little strange. Throughout the conversation at times I almost couldn't listen because I was too busy picturing her in my dad's house talking to me just like ma used to talk to me. It was just weird. We hung up with me promising to call later on in the week and we talked about unimportant and quite important things. We laughed, we shared a few stories and we said I love you.

It made my heart feel good in a totally unexpected way. I have thought a lot about her this past week. I felt myself anticipating the next time we would talk on the phone. Will we talk on the phone every week? Will it be like mom and me? Will I want to call her with a random: How cold is it there? Raining? Can you pray for me? Probably not, and if not - I won't be disappointed. But, still I think I like where this is going. ;o)

Postscript: She called me again this morning......just as I was pressing "Play" on the work-out DVD. That in and of itself made me giggle and sigh in relief. But I also had to giggle at something she did that was SO mom. I think she may have had a written list of things to discuss with me. If not, she definitely had a mental list. Even thinking of it now I cannot wipe the smile from my face. It's something ma and I used to do because we both had/have terrible memories. We'd write down what we wanted to ask each other!

So........Yay! Now, I see in addition to possibly being my Mom Phone Stand In she has impeccable timing. ;o) love you LOTS, sissy.


Lucy said...

Thanks, sissy, you made my day! Love you lots and YES, you can expect more calls ....

Marta Sanchez said...

Ok. I love voices so all you phone haters hate me cuz I just love to hear the sound of the other's voice it goes straight to my heart. After my mom passed I continued my weekly calls to my dad. It was amazing to watch his previous phone answering go from how you doing, love you, here is your mom to a full conversation. It was work, but it was good, and soon there was an ease. Mon, thanks for the memory.

Shannon said...

Now I am wondering if you are just cringing when I call with out warning. I am glad you are having a good conversations with your sister.