Each year comes to a close with celebration of a birthday … mine.
Born on December 30, it has been a long standing family joke, that I arrived just in time to be a Tax Credit. Gotta love family to keep one grounded.
My most recent birthday found me in an unexpected and awkward place. In short and barring long winded detail, I needed a ride home at an unheard of hour and Uber or taxi service was not an option.
Who did I call? My mom.
Just looking at that makes me chuckle. Yes, I’m a forty-something mom of two and yes, when faced with ‘who am I gonna call?’ It was my mommy.
Granted the majority of my girlfriends have informed me I should have and should going forward call them. To which I quickly replied, ‘But I know my mom will answer. They’re on alert for the someone’s died call.’
Recognizing to some this may seem dark or even morbid, I come from a family of realists. Sugar coating things is not our strong suit. The reality of it is, my parents are at ‘that’ age, where the passing of friends and family members is part of life. Granted, any of us can go at any given moment, for them however it’s the reality of mortality, the circle of life if you will.
A number of my friends have lost parents and loved ones, way too soon. While I cannot relate to their pain and sadness, I do recall living through it with my own mother who lost her mom when she was just 27. Life is precious and fragile all at once.
What I realized, however, weeks later as I discussed these accounts with my girlfriends was not my warped way of thinking, but rather how regardless of age we still find comfort in our parents.
Again, I’m a mom raising two of my own, one of which is just three years shy of driving himself to and fro. Sooner than later, I will more than likely find myself on the other side of such phone calls.
My family has picked me up and dusted me off my fair share and I them. It’s what we do. It’s all we know.
So as I discussed this and the ‘if ever again’ probability I couldn’t help but wonder, would my instinct dial a different number? My Smart phone is preset with Favorites. My mother sits at the top, with a few close girlfriends in the spaces below. Who will I call?
I still don’t know and I hope to not need to find out, in all honesty. No one likes to be placed in a position of feeling stranded, be it from car problems or unforeseen circumstance, it’s not ideal.
As I reflected however, I couldn’t help but think, what a problem to have. I recognize my good fortune not just in the ability to call my parents, but to have them close by. As I grow older, so too do they.
Perhaps that was the biggest gift of my recent birthday. The reminder of the blessing, which is my parents. The reminder that I still have my ‘mommy’ to call and memories yet to be made.
Yes, that night now serves as one of many forehead smacking memories. The night my life played out like its own episode of the once hit television show “Parenthood” and the morning I woke and realized how truly fortunate I am.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 847-3021.