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.