I called my Mom this morning.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
I do most mornings to check on her.
I knew when she answered the phone that she was having a “down day” – her voice was low and her words came slower than normal and with little emotion.
“I just got some bad news a half an hour ago,” she slowly started.
“My friend Carmie died a week or so ago. Her daughter called me this morning and told me. Remember Carmie, Lucie? I used to go to the state fairs and meet up with her and her husband in Auburn. Remember?” she quietly asked.
“Yeah, Ma, I remember you telling me what a great time the three of you had, but I don’t really remember that much about her,” I answered.
“Was she one of your school friends or someone you met after I left NY?” I asked, lowering my tone of voice to match hers.
She told me that Carmie was a school friend that she had known for many years, and they had kept in contact with each other as much as opportunity and time would allow. They had reconnected with each other after Mom’s divorce, and she really enjoyed the reminiscing and fun that they had every time they saw each other.
“We didn’t see each other much,” she continued. “I couldn’t drive that far and her husband stopped driving up here years ago because of his health, but boy when we did see each other, we had such a good time – such a good time…” and her voice suddenly trailed off.
The phone then went silent for longer than usual with my Mom, and I could hear her let out a deep sigh, as she composed herself for what she had to say next.
She then quietly continued, “I know it’s our time to go and there’s really nothing to be sad about, ‘cuz she lived a good life, but I’m losing a lot of my friends these days and I feel kinda bad today, Lucia. To tell you the truth, I feel a little sad.”
She hesitated again and in a voice laden with sadness and a hint of regret, continued.
“I knew when I called her at Christmas that things weren’t going so well for her and Bruno,” she said, “and I just felt something was terribly wrong for the last couple of weeks and wanted to call, but didn’t want to bother them.”
“Isn’t that weird, how I just knew something was wrong and then her daughter called me this morning and told me that she died two weeks ago?” she continued.
“No, Ma, I don’t find that weird at all,” I answered. “You were close friends and sometimes close friends and loved ones sense things about each other. I don’t find it weird, Mom.”
She quickly changed the topic of conversation and we chatted for another few minutes and then she told me that she needed to take her walk before it got too cold outside.
So, we hung up and both went on with the business of our days.
Only by this point, I was also “feeling a little sad, to tell you the truth” – feeling a little sad that my Mom was alone in her grieving.
What struck me even sadder, though, was the reality that my Mom is at that age when I think she’s wondering if her time may not be so far away, and that the infamous phone call that Carmie’s daughter made to her, will be made soon by one of her own children to some of her remaining friends.
It’s a topic that I really don’t want to discuss, but one that I firmly believe is necessary and important for her to express and get off her chest.
We know where her plot and headstone are and we know where all the important papers are, and we know that she wants to be cremated.
But maybe, just maybe, we need to know if there’s anything on her heart that she wants to say before she goes – if there’s anything that she needs to express to us before she joins Carmie and all of her good friends for that final and eternal pitch game in Heaven with God?
I think I’ll make an important phone call today, People, and catch ya next time, looking at life from my shoes.