I was surprised to see my mom’s name show up on my cell phone screen yesterday afternoon. So much so that all I could think of in that moment was it was a phantom call from her old Island phone number. I answered with a hesitant, “Hello?” Mom confirmed she had me on the line. We wished each other a happy Mother’s Day, and then she asked me if the picture staff had shown her of me was supposed to be a video.
Mom’s community’s enrichment staff sent a Google survey to all family members that allowed us to upload a Mother’s Day video for our loved one’s, which I did, and thought was a lovely idea. Either I botched the upload, or the video I uploaded got corrupt, or truncated. I told mom I’d send the video to a staff member who would share it with her. That happened this afternoon. Mom enjoyed it!!
Mom hasn’t made a call from her phone for most of a year. I pay the phone bill, and so see every outgoing call, local or long distance. I have a feeling that she asked a staff member to help her call me. I’m touched. I also think, very possibly, the same staff member may have been the one who had just tried to show her the video I’d uploaded, as mom would never have remembered such a detail unless it had been right in the moment, and even then she would have needed some amount of prompting.
Our conversation was very simple. I felt bad/guilty that I had a difficult time finding ways to keep it going. I was in the garden when mom called, and so had a certain amount of conversational inspiration. I am, however, always terrified (really) of triggering her, and always edit my commentary as it flows out of my mouth. It makes for halting and uncomfortable communication, on my part.
She was very sweet, telling me that she really appreciated keeping in touch. I stumbled through, finding things to share with her that wouldn’t, possibly, trigger her. We did pretty good. 22 minutes on the phone with my mama is truly remarkable! The last thing she asked me was, “What’s my phone number?” I asked her to hang on while I looked it up on my phone, explaining that the cell phone reconciles phone numbers to people’s names, and so I hardly know anyone’s phone number anymore. She said, “Oh, so you understand.” Yes, mama, I do!!