25 Mar Slice of Life: I Wish…..
Please, Clare. Go tell Mom I love her.
No. I mean now. Please go now and tell her I love her.
I am distracted for a moment as watch my son make a great play at home plate.
Ok, Dad. I will go right now.
I hang up the phone, start to pack up and then stop. Both boys are in the middle of a game. There is no way I can make it there and back in time to pick them up. It is getting dark. I look around to see if there is someone I can explain my situation to without having to give too many details. I don’t want to lose it in the middle of the baseball fields. I see my other son, on the adjacent field, heading back in at the end of the inning. I run over and signal him.
I have to go. Grandpa called.
He wants me to go see Grandma.
My phones rings. I answer it.
Yes, Dad, I’m on my way. I promise.
I look at Jack. In his thirteen-year old wisdom, he tells me what to do.
Just go Mom. We will be fine. I will get us a ride home. Just go – you need to go.
I continue to argue with myself as I make my way to the car. I can wait until the game is over. He will never know. I shouldn’t leave the kids. How will they get home? Somehow my body keeps moving forward even though my mind is telling me all the reasons I should turn back.
Hi Mom. It’s me, Clare.
She turns and looks at me blankly.
It’s Clare, your daughter.
She goes back to looking at something I can’t see. It is one of those days. I grab a chair and sit beside her.
It’s a nice day. It is warm. The boys are playing baseball.
Did you have dinner?
I had lunch. I think I had lunch or maybe it was dinner. I don’t know. Did I have lunch?
I am sure you did. Don’t worry. Are you hungry? I can get you something.
I realize I am stalling and deep down I know why. I know why he called. I know why he was urging me to go.
Mom, Dad called you.
She turns and looks me right in the eye. There is a clarity I have not seen in some time.
Gerry. Gerry called me.
Yes. Gerry called you. He called to say he loves you.
Where is he? Where is Gerry?
Gerry is not here, but we can call him.
Is he here? Where is Gerry?
I pull out my phone to call him. There is no answer.
I wish I knew that was going to be my last conversation with Dad. I wish I told him I loved him. I wish I left sooner so I could have reached him in time, before it was too late. I wish I thought to stay on the phone so he wasn’t alone. I wish I hadn’t stalled. I wish my mom had the chance to tell him she loved him too.