I woke up today, much like I do any other day, a little late and in a hurry to get to work. I worry about the usual things on my way, a wreck, bills, chores for the day, feeling a little congested, my daughter’s well-being at college, my husband at work.
I think about this day last year. The dreaded call that told me that you were not okay. The fact that I had meant to call you just the day before because it had been over a week. I told you that I would call every week. Some weeks would fly by without a phone call, and when we would speak you would always scold me. Can you see me smiling about that? You see, I didn’t realize, at the time, how much a simple phone call could mean. Of course, our conversations meant the world to me. I loved hearing your advice on life, on raising Summer now that she was a teenager and she was changing. I liked to hear the harmless gossip that you always had to say. I worried when you spoke of your ailments, but you were always upbeat about them. You liked to hear about everything that we had going on. You worried if something was wrong with me. The excitement in your voice when I would tell you about something new like Adam’s promotion, Summer’s good grades, my new house. How crazy it seems that we were doing all of these things that you had already done. Living this life that made you reminisce about your younger years. I know you would smile because I could hear it in your voice.
We spoke about Grandpa always, and how much we missed him. We spoke of the old days when we were young; of the magic that was our lives. I have nothing but grand memories of fun and love and laughter. Days spent in your yard running and rolling down the hill, when Grandpa would let us rake a million tiny leaf piles in the yard and we could run through them, afternoons at the mall or the arcade, days at the restaurant when you guys were working and we were playing, your soap operas on the television while you ironed or cooked and we would run through the house, Victor pretending to bleed by squeezing a ketchup packet in his hand and you were terrified, sleepovers (keeping you up all night),the time that you drove us to Huddle House in your houseshoes by accident because we drove you crazy haha, how long it would take to fix your hair, your delicious recipes. I remember Christmas at your house, on your birthday the 22nd. I am so happy that we grew up our entire lives near you both.
The last ten years you were so far away. Time and money did not permit me to visit a lot. There is nothing that I regret more. The last time that I saw you we stayed at your house in Texas, and you made enchiladas and we sat on your bed with Jackie, while we drank blue margaritas and laughed until 1 am. I wish that I would have called every week without missing a phone call. I wish that young twenty and thirty something me could understand that, could know how much it would hurt when I couldn’t call anymore.
I guess life is cruel in that way, you don’t realize these things until you are older. The older I get the more I see how life is fleeting. You don’t get a lot of time to spend with the people who matter most in our lives. We have to make time, we have to be present.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about you. I don’t always cry when I do. I usually smile. Because the love and support that you gave me through my life fills me with good feelings, it makes me strong. I cry today because today is the day that I said goodbye a year ago. Today is the day that all of my regrets hit at once. Today is the day that I was too late to wait until after work to call. Today is the day that I will remember always.
I love you and I will miss you forever.
CON MUCHO AMOR,