Have You Heard From Your Mom Today?

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Akirasho
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Have You Heard From Your Mom Today?

Postby Akirasho » Thu Nov 01, 2012 15:37 pm

... was the message in my voicemail box.

I don't know the hows or whys, but my cellphone reception at home sucks. The phone often drops calls made and received anywhere on the first or second floors... indeed, I get better consistency in the basement or outside! So, when I returned this call to my Big Sis who lives in Dallas... as soon as the connection was made, I stood perfectly still.

"Hey, I just called Mom and I got no answer and it's 9PM. Have you heard from her today?"

Mom is 79, lives alone in a two story condo and while still relatively active, has many of the ailments you'd expect at that age as well as being a diabetic (has the "I've fallen and I can't get up" thingy).

"No, what's up?"

"It's just that it's after 9PM and I can't get ahold of her... and I know she doesn't go out at night..."

I start easing towards panic mode.

Even though my Sis lives 900 miles away, she's usually in far more communications with Mom than me even though I'm only a hair over 7.5 miles away. Mom generally calls or emails daily. Most of her communication is... an older person's version of Twitter. No big whoop, but it seems to make her feel better to email out about seeing the mailman come up the walk or reminding her 33 year old Grandaughter that "boys only want one thing". It can become easy to dismiss these little ramblings, but much like the parable... you don't miss your emails till the internet runs dry.

"I'll check on her" was the gist of my response. I've been without a car for over a year now but use the bike to get almost everywhere I need in the area. Under most circumstances, the trip to Mom's would be no biggie but on this night, we were still dealing with the remnants of Hurricane Sandy's landfall 700 miles to the east. As most of you know and have experienced on this day, it was cold, wet and windy. My trek would require battling a stiff headwind all the way while dealing with traffic unaccustomed to a bike in broad and clear daylight let alone on a night like this. I figured that once I ascertained that Mom was OK, I could spend the night as a last resort!

So, I called Mom. No answer. I look at my phone and it's going all wonky. I can see incoming and voicemails but I've lost my reception.

On the edge of panic mode.

I consider myself an "experienced" cyclist. I consider myself an "experienced commuter. Over the past week, I'd invested a bit of time in tweeking my "winter" UAV (urban assault vehicle), an old Cannondale SVA 900 trick'd out with lights... it's my goto rig if/when I know I'm gonna be out for an extended period in the dark. While it's heavy, it can handle a wide variety of conditions... cold, wet and windy. Also, I'd assembled all my foul weather gear and had been "testing" it the previous few days. Still, now my mind rushed a bit. Even though I'd ridden earlier in the day, I was having difficulty finding stuff. Where did I leave my balaclava? Are my gloves in the dining room or living room? Where is my long sleeve jersey... I just had it on this morning... where is the phone dammit... I JUST HAD IT!!!

A liiiiiiiiiitle bit of panic.

Over there... the phone and it's glowing... I forgot I left it on silent. Another message. DAMMIT... dropped call to voicemail box. Retry.

"Hey, if you get this message before you leave, I just called Mrs. MomsNeighborLady (in worse shape than MOM) to see if she can go over and check."

Breath.

I call back my Big Sis and confirm (reception wobbles but holds on long enuff) but figure I'd hedge my bets. Phone back in RING mode. I'll hit the road and if I get a call, I can always turn back... kinda like riding to a Fail Safe point.

OK, there's this, that and the other. Finally, all geared up. All lights check out. Got phone. Got keys to Mom's. Got extra gloves to keep fingers toasty enuff to turn a key in a lock. Front door open. Ring Ring.

Breeeeeeeeath.

"Hey, Mrs. MomsNeighborLady got ahold of her and she's fine. She closed her bedroom door and couldn't hear the answering machine (the story of how the answering machine is on the other side of her bedroom door is a whole 'nother story). I'm glad you don't have to go out on a night like this."

"OK, thanks"

12 miles later, I still haven't burned off the adrenalin rush (I literally had the front wheel of the bike out the door and while releived, I knew that I was too amp'd to simply go back inside, so I rode anyway).

essexian
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Re: Have You Heard From Your Mom Today?

Postby essexian » Thu Nov 01, 2012 16:26 pm

Nope, she died on the 7th Nov last year.

One of the many things I regret in life is not phoning her more often than I did: once a month if that!

You only get one Mum, take care of her as you will miss her when she's gone. Oh and listen to what she says. Some of it will be crap, but most wont be.

mattshrops
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Re: Have You Heard From Your Mom Today?

Postby mattshrops » Thu Nov 01, 2012 17:12 pm

We are all guilty of taking things for granted.

Sounds a bit Disney but you have to cherish what you have.
Death or Glory- Just another Story

mamba80
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Re: Have You Heard From Your Mom Today?

Postby mamba80 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 20:38 pm

My mum "died" about 2 years ago - since then she has just become more and more crazed - tbh i wish things had been different and she had actually had a heart attack or something.

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Pinno
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Re: Have You Heard From Your Mom Today?

Postby Pinno » Sat Nov 03, 2012 13:24 pm

Yep, 7.15 AM. Number of caller 01387... "Oh bollox, its SEPA or Shanks telling me there is a can bank in Timbuctoo that needs emptying. Don't answer call. Call them back when coffee has jump started brain. Its 'care call'. Double bollox.
"I am no.1 contact on list". Friend of family turns up at Mums house and phones ambulance. Triple bollox.
Mums fine, sitting up in a hospital bed, chatting away and looking well. Panic over, Mum comes home. Muggins spends next two (guilty) hours cleaning house and doing odd jobs that have been outstanding.
She's a pain in the bum but she is my Mum.
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