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Blast from the Past

April 30, 2018

My mom’s old helper, whom I will call Anita, called tonight.

This was remarkable because Anita left about 3 years ago for an 8-week temp job in another state and had never returned.

Despite the fact that she and my mother were very close – she often told me how much she loved my mom, and they spent their time together yakking and laughing like schoolgirls – Anita never called. Never sent a postcard. Nothing. Mom was heartbroken.

I texted her. I called and left voice messages. I sent Facebook messages. I begged. I told her how mom asked about her every day, how sad Mom was, how she asked “What have I done to make her hate me?”

Nothing. Not a word.

Mom’s helper after Anita was Anita’s niece.

So when the phone rang at mom’s and I didn’t recognize the number, I expected a telemarketer. I answered tentatively.

When I realized who it was, I put her on speaker and handed the phone to mom. “Hi gorgeous!” Anita said. “It’s me, Anita!”

“Who?” Mom said.

Anita tried to explain who she was. Mom didn’t remember.

“Did you come in the afternoons? Rose, is that you?”

“No, it’s Anita, Anita, remember?”

“I’m sorry, honey, there were a lot of people and I’m sure you were one of them, but I just don’t know.”

When I took the phone back from mom and walked out into the hall, Anita was sobbing.

“I love her so much and she doesn’t remember me!” Anita said. She was bawling hard.

“Well, she’s having a hard day, and her memory isn’t what it used to be,” I said, holding myself back.

“I was gone and then I lost her number…” she cried.

She lost her number. Her NIECE was mom’s caretaker.

“Ok, then, goodbye,” I said. I was short with her because that was the best I could do.

I thought about yelling at her, telling her how much she hurt mom. But she knows. What good would it do? I hope never to see her again.

I’m just writing this down to remind myself of this lesson. Make the phone calls. Write the letters. Stop by and visit. Sooner than later. Sooner than too late.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2018 05:58

    Powerfully true…. Thanks for sharing!

  2. May 1, 2018 06:49

    You were very kind to her.

    • May 5, 2018 07:14

      Not inside my head 🙂 It might have been kinder to tell her how much she hurt my mom…but I assume she knows.

  3. Elvie permalink
    May 1, 2018 08:29

    I probably wouldn’t have been so nice to her.

  4. May 1, 2018 17:03

    Always good reminders. Never stop making the effort when it comes to important people.

    • May 5, 2018 07:15

      This was so freaky. Anita went from being BFF to nothing overnight. I wonder if she had some other issue going on. I guess I will never know.

  5. May 3, 2018 07:01

    I have those confrontations with people in my head all the time. You handled it better than I would have. Also, I always need a reminder and a nudge to stay in touch with people.

    • May 5, 2018 07:16

      I just didn’t say anything, which is my default mode. I guess I figure yelling at her wouldn’t do any good, so why bother? Staying in touch can be hard…there are so many people along the way.

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