All circuits are busy.
“You’re telling me,” I mumbled to the recording, while attempting to sort laundry, check my e-mail and pay my bills. What else would a mom be doing on Mother’s Day, while attempting to reach her mother?
Setting the phone on speaker and hitting the redial button every 30 seconds just in case some selfish person would quit talking and give those of us who want to call an opportunity I continued on with my tasks and mumblings.
On my end of the line, Mother’s Day has become a quiet affair only one child left at home and the others (who had planned ahead) had called on Saturday. The said remaining child was asleep. That is what 5-foot-8-inch 14-years-olds do. That and eat. I think they sleep to store up energy to eat, or maybe they eat to have energy to sleep? As I pondered this, shopping lists and the answer to the most frequently asked question on the planet what’s for supper? I kept getting a recording, to which I promptly said some sarcastic remark, as if it would matter and or the recording really gives a rip.
This is not the way Mother’s Day should go, I harrumphed. Not that I wanted gifts, nor expected breakfast in bed. I’ve already had my fair share of 6 a.m. “Mommy here is your boo-tee-ful breakfast, I made just for you” days. I loved all of them. Especially the year the three of them could not agree what to make, so they made and then insisted that I eat three meals. Which I did, because what else would a mom do on Mother’s Day?
Still busy (both me and the phone lines), I thought about what it was I was after. I want the phone to work. It is the 21st century and if I can take a photo with the darn thing and beam it across the room to my husband, why can’t it do its primary function and send the call through?
I want the war to end. I want children to get proper health care and I want my mom not to die. That’s it! Screw world peace it is all about me. I don’t want this to be the last Mother’s Day call, and since the doctors assure us it will be, I decided to blame the phone company for all of my anger and fear.
I am sure it is the phone company’s fault that the cure for cancer isn’t known because the doctor who discovered it couldn’t get a call out. Somewhere out there is a lazy lineman, smoking a cigarette while my mother is dying. The jerk! I am afraid that after she dies we will get this call:
“Oh sorry, could have cured cancer, but it was faulty equipment all this time.”
I also want the answer to why, whenever there is bad news, your calls go through no matter what.
“ Mrs. Misner your son has bitten poor little ______, please come get him and bring proof of his rabies shot.”
“ Mrs. Misner, your son has been in a bus crash. I hope he is OK.”
“ Nancianna, Mom’s in the hospital, her tests show it’s cancer.”
By that point I had worked myself up to a good cry. Good thing it was Sunday and no stray phone company people were out and about for me to yell at. When I was pretty sure I would rip the phone out of the wall (fat lot of good that would have done me), the phone people (who really sit in a back room with a roulette wheel with all of our names on it) hit my name.
Lucky red seven. Nan gets to call her mom.
And there she was.
“Hi Honey, I miss you.”
As I dissolved into tears wanting to explain about the new terrorist cell I had discovered the phone company all I could blubber was I am sorry she is so sick and sorry that I cannot fix it. I am a mom, for God’s sake. Ask my kids moms can fix anything.
I apologized for ranting and thanked her for everything and for listening.
“It’s going to be OK, sweetie,” she said. “What else would I want to do on Mother’s Day?”
Nan Misner is the newsroom assistant at the Clarion.
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