Friday, February 4, 2011

Calling Home

My mom and dad are 86 and 87 respectively. I am 59. We were not always as old as we are now, and we haven't lived in the same city since I went off to college.

When I was in college, I called home about once every couple weeks, not a regular thing you see, but rather when I needed some funds or had a car wreck or came down with mono. I was 'me' driven and called home when I needed something. As I graduated, got married, had kids and traveled a lot with my job, life seemed to be on a treadmill, a blur most of the time, and calls home were sporadic at best, not intentionally, but just not a priority.

As my children got to high school, I realized that my folks would not be here forever, so I orchestrated a "Sunday Night" schedule, where we would call one week and they would call back every other week. We were pretty good about keeping the schedule, but often we could go a couple weeks without calling. In hindsight, they never missed their Sunday call, any 'misses' were mine.

My kids all went off to college and I realized that now the shoe was on the other foot. I missed my youngins'  terribly and could not understand why they did not call more.....selective memory on my part. The fact remains that they are still my girls and my boy and regardless of their chronological age I love to hear their voices.

My diagnosis of multiple myeloma caused a reset of my schedule and priorities. I quickly understood that even at 59, I am still my mother's child and she was worried about her boy. I also realized how fragile life is for them in their eighties and me with cancer. I wanted to hear their voices.

So, I am resolved to call them each and every day. We often don't have much to talk about, as my days, and theirs, are more sedimentary than active. However, I have come to realize the call is not about me needing something, or sharing with them what is going on, but simply me checking on them, sending  them a long distance hug, and letting them know that I'm okay and that I love them. 

When was the last time you called home?


  1. Why does it always take the "big" things in life (myeloma) to truly realize how important the "little" things (talking to mom & dad) can be. Very good post today.

  2. I talk to my mama just about every day and my granny once a week! I miss home so much so I love calling home but I always wish I was at home with them

  3. Thank you Ernie for this beautiful and heart felt post. I go down this road in my mind often with my children and miss hearing from them, only to realize that my parents miss hearing from me...Yes, we all are getting older and yes, it is precious to be able to call and speak even for a few minutes with our parents. I don't want to find myself one day regretting that I did not make those calls just to say hello! Thanks for the nudge as well as for helping me see myself in your post! Wisdom friend, wisdom!

  4. Praise the Lord I get to call home, or visit "home," every single day! I love being your next door neighbor!

  5. I lived with my parents 80 and 76yrs old, off and on for four months while going through two stem cell transplants. What a blessing they are in my life. They took care of me while my husband took care of my family. Their slower pace and attention to me helped save my life. I speak with them every day or two now. Another blessing in my life!

  6. i called home 2 hours ago but before that almost a year, i can't everyone was in tears when they were don't know what you've got until you loose it.

    conference call

  7. I love the honesty that comes with this post. I talk to my mom about 3 times a day (no exaggerating) and I cherish every call I have with her. Parents will always be our parents, their love is unconditional!