Thursday, February 11, 2016


Thirteen years ago today, life was going about its normal ways.  I was a long term sub in a third grade classroom for a teacher who had passed away unexpectedly.  TJ was teaching at Muskegon.  I was hoping for a snow day the next day.  I am sure we ate "TJ's chicken" for dinner, had my almost daily phone conversation with my mom, and graded papers until bed time.  No kids. No house, just a tiny apartment in Whitehall, where the kitchen was so small it wouldn't fit our microwave.  Such a normal day where I took everything for granted. . . especially my conversation with my mom.

The next day, my first call of the day was to tell me I had a snow day.  I was so excited!  I did my snow day dance, and tried to gain a little composer in front of TJ who still had school.  Muskegon never closed back then.  I went back to bed.  My second call of the day will be forever etched in my mind.  It was a call that changed everything.  I remember everything about it, from where I was standing to what I was wearing to what words were said.  It was George, my step dad, in a frantic, scared voice telling me that something happened to my mom and they were going in an ambulance.  He had to let me go because they were leaving.  He hung up.  I paced.  I worried.  I made some calls to family to have them pray.  Then, I called the hospital searching for some information about my mom.  They put me in touch with George and I remember him saying, "She didn't make it."  I had to have him repeat himself.  I was in complete disbelief.  How can such a normal, average day turn out to be so horrible?

I remember all the details that followed, from trying to get a hold of TJ at work to throwing up, but I don't need to go into all that.

Today, I am reminded of how fragile life is, how it can change in a blink of an eye, with one phone call.  I will forever have a sort of emptiness in my heart, a spot that can never really be filled.  I still reach for the phone to call my mom- I did when I got offered a permanent teaching position, when we closed on our first house, when my thesis was published, when I found out I was pregnant all three times, and losing 44 pounds
.  Thankfully, the tears have been less and now I smile at memories, instead of cry.  I have so many good memories of her.
I hope I dream of my mom tonight.  I so do miss her.  I miss our phone conversations and dancing in the kitchen.  I miss her sauteed mushrooms and the sound of her laugh.  I miss her lingering hugs and shopping with her.  I miss her fuzzy slippers and everything pink.  I miss her.