Day Thirty Three: The Sound of Her Voice

A typical unfinished project on my work table. 

Yesterday the kids and I had a great day.

Mack danced in a talent show at camp, which is nothing short of a miracle. While the kid is obsessed with dance music, he HATES to dance in front of anyone. So when he announced that he and  his buddies were going to dance on stage--in front of not only parents but other kids--I was skeptical. But there he was, boogying down, posing, acting cool, and lip-syncing to that "Dynamite" song he loves so much. All the while he wore a slightly goofy smile, a little embarrassed to be performing but still giving one hundred percent.

Masana came home from camp with the crafting itch, which she hasn't had in quite some time. She spent the afternoon making bracelets for some friends, and quietly took over the lumpy arm chair that I usually occupy when I get in my crafting moods. My heart swelled to see her there because that arm chair has been empty for six weeks now. It also inspired me to start reviewing some of the projects I had abandoned. So while she weaved embroidery threads in various patterns, I dusted off some of my unfinished craft projects and started tinkering.

It was a happy day. And the funny thing about happy days is that you want to share it with someone. I usually would call my Mom when I had a day like yesterday. That's how I found myself dialing her number after I put the kids to bed.

Of course, my Dad answered the phone and we had a less than stellar conversation. He was distracted and I was frustrated. The conversation came to an abrupt end when his cell phone rang and he dropped his land line (aka me) to answer it. I was a little annoyed, but mostly relieved to be off the phone.

This is just another thing I'll have to get used to, I suppose. I'll add it to my internal checklist of what I miss about my Mom. I still have a shirt of hers that I keep in my dresser, so I can still smell her. But the sound of her voice---sometimes I try to hear it.

What I miss most about my Mom's voice was the way she would say "I love you" at the end of our conversations. It was a little louder than her normal speaking voice, like she was shouting the words over the phone. She pronounced the word "love" like it was made of molasses, like she was trying to savor the taste of the word in her mouth. And she would quickly say it again, this time in a slightly smaller voice, then say goodbye and hang up the phone. I thought it was a little kooky, but it always made me smile.

It was the very last thing she said to me when we spoke last, the day before she had her stroke. And it's proving harder to hold onto than her scent on a shirt.