My 29th gift is one I shoot to do every day but don’t. Calling my Mom. She lives 300 hundred miles south in Jersey at an independent living complex. Since Dad died 16 months ago, Mom is living the life of a widow that she had no preparation for. Married for 66 years, she and he were compatible and loving; they were comfortable with their daily routines, be they breakfast together, with eggs on Saturday morning, reading the New York Times, going to “current events” on Friday, or dining with friends each evening in the main dining hall. They didn’t have to be talking or in the same room; just being in the same apartment made them feel safe, secure, and loved.
The last of my 29 gifts is to call Mom today. Hi Mom. This is Dan. I’m just checking in. Soon she asks how we are doing and specifically about Hannah’s broken leg. At times, I speak too quickly so I consciously slow down so my part of the conversation is not lost.
I always end with I love you, Mom. Since Dad died I say that more often to our kids, my siblings, and my Mom as we end a phone call or hug good-bye. Funny how love expands the more I express it.