I kept her contact photo and number as a favorite on my phone.
My mother died rather unexpectedly seven months ago and I have not yet had the strength nor the inclination to remove it. My sister and I have handled the details of dismantling her life piece by small piece. Clothing. Shoes. Household items. Jewelry. We shared the extra food in her cupboard. We cancelled her subscriptions. And we cancelled her cell phone service.
In my mind I know it was just a number to them. When her cell service was cancelled, perhaps the young man on the other end mentioned how much time might pass before the number would be reissued. But when my phone rang today and her face came alive, I was paralyzed. I wanted it to be her, but knew better. I wanted to answer it and somehow know who was on the other side, now using her number. Mercifully whoever dialed the call must have known it was a misdial and disconnected before I could consider answering.
So what did I learn?
My grief, though occasionally set aside, is still very present. And my heart, this still very tender and raw. I know I’ll come to a different crossroad some other night. But for today, I sit quietly reflecting… missing her.