Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: I Wish…..
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Slice of Life: I Wish…..

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Please, Clare.  Go tell Mom I love her.   

Ok,  Dad.

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.

Right now.

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 nods.

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.

That’s nice.

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.

Clare

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Comments
  • Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 11:19h, 25 March Reply

    I wish… How I know these words!
    Your post carries such meaning to me and I am sure so many others who want to go back in time and change things, say things, or do things differently.
    You captured those feelings so eloquently and powerfully.
    Thank you for this vulnerable post.
    Chris

  • Deb Pellerin
    Posted at 11:51h, 25 March Reply

    Sending heartstrings to you Clare!

  • Meagan
    Posted at 12:14h, 25 March Reply

    What a powerful slice today. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  • Katherine Sokolowski
    Posted at 12:18h, 25 March Reply

    Sending you love.

  • Diane Anderson(newtreemom)
    Posted at 12:27h, 25 March Reply

    Those wishes. They are love.

  • Melanie Meehan
    Posted at 12:29h, 25 March Reply

    Somehow, I bet your dad knew you loved him, and I bet he knew your mom loved him too. You balanced being a mom and a daughter, and it’s a tough balance. You might want to let go of wishes of what could have been done and hold on to celebrations of what was done.

    The weaving of the conversations and the reactions is really powerful writing, Clare.

  • Carrie Gelson
    Posted at 15:26h, 25 March Reply

    Clare. Wow. I don’t have words.

  • Linda Baie
    Posted at 19:03h, 25 March Reply

    I’m sorry for your heart hurting, Clare. There is much to remember, and sometimes it isn’t a good memory. You are wonderful to share with us.

  • Diane Dougherty
    Posted at 20:12h, 25 March Reply

    My love to you, Clare. This is so powerful and beautiful. Thank you for opening up your heart today.

  • Lynne Dorfman
    Posted at 21:38h, 25 March Reply

    My heart is breaking, and as I read this piece, I had to stop for a moment because I was crying so hard I couldn’t read the words anymore. Clare, I do not know how you got this all down on paper. The memory is so clear. It was beautifully written – so full of real emotions. This piece was so real for me. And I, too, get all those wishes you conveyed in your final paragraph. I have them, too, and when I think about them, I feel a sharp pain followed by guilt, anxiety, sorrow. I can’t change the things that I did not do for my mom or the anger I felt about her strokes when I was just twenty-one. So I try to remember how much she loved me and how much I loved her. One day, I am going to visit Hawaii for her because she always wanted to go there, and I am going to write her name in the sandy beach there and speak her name into the gentle breeze.

  • Rose
    Posted at 21:39h, 25 March Reply

    Your posts are so powerful, Clare. Thank you for sharing a special part of your heart. I don’t know what else to say. ❤

  • Krista Schmidt
    Posted at 00:16h, 26 March Reply

    Wow. What a powerful post. I was not expecting that ending & it crushed me. Wow!

  • sheriann scuzzarella
    Posted at 01:18h, 27 March Reply

    You are hurting and you are brave to put it into words. My heart is with you. It is complicated times with kids and elderly parents and you gave me some comfort that I am not alone in this journey.

  • Paula Ruedebusch
    Posted at 16:28h, 28 March Reply

    Thank you for being brave.

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