I love my mother to pieces but she does not know how to hang up the phone. During many of our conversations she says at least five times, “I’m gonna let you go now because I know you’re at work.” I think the idea of me getting off the phone reminds her that there is one more thing she needs to tell me. I watch as the minutes pass on my desktop and wonder if my supervisor will get curious as to why my office door has been shut so long. I want to say, “Ma, I gotta go.” Not wanting to come across as disrespectful though I keep it to myself. I know it is physically impossible for her to reach through the phone and pop my mouth, but for some reason my brain will not let me think otherwise. I just go for the ride. Not because I am concerned about being disrespectful but because too many people in this world do not get to have a conversation with their mother. I know there are people that have lost their mothers to sudden deaths and people who have never had a deep enough connection with their mother to receive a random phone call out of love. My mother falls in line with people who have lost their parents.
My grandmother passed when I was seventeen, and there was hardly a day that went by that my mother and grandmother did not have a conversation, either face-to-face or over the phone. Practically every day they spoke. When she passed it was hard on our whole family, but I knew it was especially hard for my mother. I remember her sitting by the phone one day with her head down. Although she was not saying anything, I knew she was thinking of my grandmother. I knew she was thinking of their conversations and the fact that they would no longer take place. I miss the sound of my grandmother’s voice, but I know my mother misses it more. It is something that could never be imitated. All my mother can do is replay their conversations in her head.
I keep that thought in mind whenever I feel like rushing off the phone. I think about how grateful I am to have my mother. At any given time I am blessed enough to answer calls that span explaining how to save a document, if I am stopping by for dinner (which is a given) and my favorite, "just because calls". It makes me think differently about her saying “I’m gonna let you go” because I know there may be a time when the letting go will be permanent. So, if you ever find yourself in the same position just put on your seatbelt and enjoy taking the scenic route through your parent’s day. It may run over a bit so make sure you bring a snack.
About the author: Latanya Muhammad is an advisor, group facilitator and freelance writer who follows a daily mantra to read, write, live and repeat. When she is not doing that, she is wrangling two children and her husband. To read more of her work, or to connect, visit www.shetanagain.com and Shetanagain Writes on Facebook and Instagram.