My mom was hard to reach.
After trying the house phone, her cell, and my dad’s cell—for the second time—I thought maybe I wouldn’t bother. What a manufactured occasion anyway, and my mom hates the obligations of holidays.
Then I thought about how three years ago I was worried she’d die of cancer while I was living abroad.
So I called again and caught her. She’d had to work. Had gotten margaritas with Dad after. “We do what we can,” she said, and we talked for a half hour about my sister’s impending graduation, house plants and the rugs she can get cheap from work, if we need more rugs. She has an olive green one in mind for me. And probably half the actual time of our conversation is—as is customary—the silences between topics until we can think of something else to say.
I’ve been delegated the responsibility of making reservations for lunch on graduation day. Let’s not forget.