Calling Mom

by Terrence A. Beverley
Worth, Illinois, USA

Calling Mom

Shortly after the loss of Father, Mother elected to endure double knee replacement surgery. Mother had cared for Father in his final years, and now she intended to enjoy her remaining years with the new mobility offered by replacement knees.

The replacement surgery went without problems, but afterward Mother struggled to wake up. By the next day it was apparent that Mother was in a drug-induced coma. For 11 days, the family relied on one another for strength until the call came from my sister that Mother had emerged from her coma.

Living nine hundred miles from Mother’s hospital, visiting for more than a weekend was difficult. One Saturday I received a call from my sister that Mother was asking for me and if I could call at 5:00 p.m., I would be able to speak with Mother. “Do you have Mom’s telephone number?” Yes, I replied, but why don’t you give it to me anyway?

At 5:00 I called and much to my surprise a faint voice answered the call. Hello Mother, this is Terry. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear your voice. “Oh,” she said, “I’m so happy that you finally called. You know everyone said you would never call.” Mom, you should know how much I love you and never think such things. I think about you all the time and I need you to know that I love you.” She replied, “I know you love me and I think of you too.”

Mom, do they still have part of that trachea attachment in your throat? Your voice seems a little different. “I’m not sure,” she replied. I thought this seemed odd. Surely Mother must feel the oxygen tube that gets connected to her throat while she sleeps. Mom, how do your knees feel? “My knees? I guess they’re okay.” Hearing this I decided that it was time to wrap up our conversation.

Mom, I want you to pay attention to me and listen carefully. “Okay,” she replied. I know you’re surprised that I called. You need to believe that your son loves you as much as any son could love his Mother. You need to understand that while I have called today, I may not be able to call again and tell you how much your son loves you. Others may try to tell you that I didn’t call you and you must be mistaken. Mother, do you believe your son loves you? “I’m sure of it now,” she replied. That’s great Mother, this call was meant to be. Goodbye, Mother. “Goodbye son, I feel better already.”

Originally published as HeroicStories #40 on Aug 3, 1999
Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 1.

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