Granuaile called my stepdad yesterday to let him know she wouldn’t be going over there for a sleepover this weekend. Even though she had the phone to her ear, I could hear it ringing on the other end, and I waited to hear either my stepfather’s voice or the robotic voice of their old answering machine.
But she had called their cell phone.
And my stepdad didn’t hear it to answer it.
And what I heard when the voice clicked in was, “Hi…it’s Anna…”
I have several voicemail messages from my mom saved on my phone, and it’s both comforting and painful to listen to them. But her voice on her cell phone voicemail fools you into thinking she’s there. She says, “Hi”, like she’s answering a call and knows it’s you. In reality, she wasn’t sure the thing was working, so there’s a pause after she’s says hi, almost as if expecting the caller to answer her back.
And so I burst into tears in the Target parking lot. And again watching TV later in the afternoon. And again after going through Granuaile’s dresser to get rid of clothes. My mom bought some of those clothes, and it seemed wrong to get rid of them. But they don’t fit. And the only reason to keep the clothes would have been to keep the temporary pain of memories I’ll never create again at bay another day.
I finished the dresser and closet today. I even went back through the bags of things I brought home from my Mom’s house when Megan and I cleaned out her closets, and I was able to let more of those things go. They weren’t things I especially liked, but somehow had associated them with my mom. But they aren’t her, and they’ll never get used, and now through Goodwill, maybe they will.
So a lot of tears were shed, and sadness overwhelmed me for a while, but stuff got done. And it will keep getting done. And we’ll keep moving on.