The Silent Support Army,A Series About My Life As A War Veterans Wife – June 2018
Wednesday last week was just like any other Wednesday, the only difference was taking a late afternoon drive out to our fur babies Vet to get Parker’s medication. My daughter T called at 5:32pm, just like clockwork as she does every day. T still lives at home and she is only 30 minutes away from seeing me in person but she calls anyway to debrief the day and check if we need anything from the shops before she gets home. Part way through out our conversation, at 5:46pm to be precise, call waiting lights up my phone and my mum’s beautiful face is right there on my mobile screen. Sounds pretty normal you might say, but in a split second my stomach is in my mouth and I realise that this is the phone call I don’t want to answer.
Usually when I get a call waiting call on my mobile I send it to voice mail and finish the call I’m on but this one, this one I knew I needed to answer. My phone call with T when from go to woe so fast that she is still recovering from the whiplash and the only words I could get out was Ginny’s calling me…I gotta go! (Ginny is the name T gave my mother when she was a baby and it kinda stuck).
Receiving a phone call from my mum is always wonderful, she is my connection to all that is my foundation and my mum is the corner stone of my foundation, she is stayed, she is unconditional but she is predictable and seeing her face on my mobile was completely out of character for her. Its funny how your brain can make the assessment in a split second that the news that was coming down the wire was not going to follow the format of our usual conversations. For a start, she called me on my mobile. She never calls my mobile unless she needs to talk to me NOW! (its too expensive!). It’s also only late afternoon. Growing up on a farm late afternoon is the busiest time of the day, that’s when you are feeding the chooks, rugging horses for the night and going upstairs to getting dinner ready. It’s not a time to be gabbing on the phone, time for that is after dinner when the washing up has been done but above all else it wasn’t our scheduled day to chat. My mum and I have this uncanny ability to feel each other’s phone calls coming. One thing is for sure I didn’t see this one coming and I was caught totally off guard.
I thought it was going to be about my dad. He hasn’t been well for a while now and both mum and dad aren’t getting any younger but no, it was mum calling to tell me she had spent some quality time in the local hospital today and been diagnosed with a life threatening condition. She’s now on medication and kicking along ok but it’s true what the experts say that when you receive crappy news you don’t hear anything past the initial headline. I can remember bits of the rest of her conversation but all I could think about was what my life would look like without my foundation stone, without my mum, would my house crumble?
All I could think about were my selfish needs, I’m not ready to be with out her yet. She hasn’t seen me graduate my PhD (I haven’t even started my PhD yet), she has to be around to watch my daughter T get married (I don’t want T to get married yet), she has to sit on the verandah swing and sing nursery rhymes to my grandchildren (I definitely don’t want grandchildren yet!). I had arrogantly assumed my mum would be there forever. She whole heartily believes she is going to live until she is 130 years old and I foolishly believed her! One thing I know for sure though, at 5:46pm on Wednesday afternoon my world stopped long enough for me to see into the future and what I don’t want it to be. I realise that time is ruthless and unsympathetic and even though I try to spend my time wisely I haven’t truly respected it. It doesn’t stop for anyone and we need to take moment’s filter out the madness, to watch, to hear, to smell and to taste life.