I was running errands on my way home from work. A typical Thursday. A podcast playing in the background. A woman being interviewed said she had saved a voice message from her mother who had passed away and how listening to this message brought her so much joy.
Hmmm. I wondered if I had a message from my mom. Waiting in line at the drive-through at the bank, I checked my phone. Did you know that you have to delete your “deleted messages” from an iPhone? Who knew? Clearly, not me.
Phone messages from my mom from years ago
I lost my mom months ago but I found messages from her dating back two years. I definitely have too much storage space on my phone.
My first thought was honestly, “Oh, how fun!”
I was wrong.
It was not fun.
“Hi, hon…just had the nicest dinner with Thor (my oldest son). Call me back if you have time. If not, I’ll talk to you in the morning like always. Love you!”
As my mom’s voice radiated through the speakers of my car, my heart absolutely shattered.
I lost it in a way I didn’t even know was possible. Again, in line — at the drive-through — at the bank. Not my best moment. I tried desperately to hold it together as I finished my tasks. Crying between stops and trying not to make eye contact in the grocery store.
When I got home, I sobbed
When I finally got home, I sat on the floor of my front hall, surrounded by bags of food, and sobbed. The kind of heart-wrenching sobs that rack your body, where you literally can’t catch your breath.
My daughter came rushing down the stairs. She held me waiting patiently and lovingly until I could tell her what happened.
Later when we recounted the story to my husband, I said to my daughter, “Oh, honey. You must have been so scared that something terrible had happened.” She responded, “No. I just thought maybe the cashier said something mean to you.”
Wait…what?!? Seriously?!? This does not speak well to my overall emotional stability…but that’s an issue to explore another time.
Once I was able to calm down, after deep centering breaths — and after putting the groceries away — I texted my friends who have lost their moms.
My friends and I are daughters without mothers
I realize that I have gotten to an age where more of my friends have lost their moms than still have their moms with them. We are daughters without mothers and we need to look out for each other. I wanted to warn them. Do not do this. It is NOT a good idea.
My four closest friends responded in a manner perfectly reflective of their personalities and their role in my life:
One friend responded — and I am paraphrasing — that her heart was breaking for me. That my mom’s love and light is eternal. That she will keep me in her prayers. She was sending healing love and was there for me day or night. We all need a friend who will hold us in their heart and offer us such compassion.
One friend empathized that she had in fact done the same thing after her mom died. She made me feel better that I wasn’t crazy for listening to that message, that she felt my pain, and could totally relate to my experience. We all need a friend who says, yes, I’ve been there. You are not alone.
One friend said thank you so much. I will make sure to never do this and to delete anything that might be on my phone. We all need a friend who will take our advice and offer us advice, who will let us look out for them and will look out for us as well in a perfectly practical manner.
One friend said — and I am not paraphrasing — “Oh dear, God! Why would you ever do that?!?” We all need this friend too. The friend to make us laugh and keep it real.
How lucky am I to have these women in my life? Playing such valuable, life-affirming roles. I think when we lose our mom, our friends take on an even greater role in our lives to fill that space in our hearts — not ever to replace our mom but to help fill the gap, ease the pain, lighten the load, and give us some extra love.
Without our moms, we need that extra love.
And thank goodness I have them because I couldn’t bring myself to delete the messages…so chances are I will need them again soon.