If I'd written this earlier today, it would have been titled "Anxiously Waiting for News".
Almost every morning as I drive to work (when I drive), I call my mother and we chat for about 10 minutes. It's sort of a daily check in, a keeping in touch. I used to do it with my Grandmother before she died. There never was a reason for the call, it was just keeping company with someone I loved when I couldn't physically be there. So now that Grandma is gone, I do it with my mother.
Usually when I call, I can tell if she's been up a while or if I woke her up. This morning she sounded rattled. She was on her way out the door to see the doctor. This isn't unusual in and of itself... she has the regular list of health problems for a person her age. But she didn't sound normal, so I asked what was up. She'd had a lump under her arm for about three weeks. When she first discovered it, she figured her lymph nodes were just doing their jobs. Then this morning, she felt it again, but this time it sent a sharp, searing pain through her when she touched it. Then she looked at it in the mirror and saw a black spot. This scared her (as it should) and she called the doctor, who asked her to come in right away. And this is what she was doing and thinking about when I called.
I thought about her all day. Worried. Hoped. Wished. How would it feel to be told bad news? What would she do next? What would she do in the next month? Is there anything she ever wished she'd done but never had? Would she do it now? How would Dad cope with life if she weren't here? Would he sell the farm or stay out there? These were the thoughts running through my head all day, punctuated by love. I love my mom. She's my best friend. She's the first person who doesn't live in my house that I want to talk to each day. I am a lot like her, as my husband is quick to point out, especially when I do something that strikes him as odd and that I consider normal. Losing her would be like losing a part of myself.
All day. I wondered. Finally, just before I was leaving to come home, my husband called with the good news. Not cancer.
I called her on the way home. I hope to be calling her for many, many years to come.