Last night I encountered a moment where the ritual of being able to call my Mom or Nanny was very much missed. I teach on Tuesday evenings and as the time has changed, it is now dark when I leave campus. I’ve spoke before how a typical ritual I had was calling my Mom or Nanny when I was driving (don’t judge, you know you talk on the phone too!). I often would call them as I was leaving campus and walking to my car (and it’s also nice to be on the phone for safety matters).
Calling James has now become my routine but last night he was planning to be at a movie during the time my class let out. Suddenly I was faced with the question of who is there to call?
As someone who has worked with many who have lost a loved one, I’ve gone through this issue many times. Who would know if you didn’t make it home safe? Now of course, I have James and we even worked it out that I called him before the movie started but it still leaves the issue that I spoke with Mom or Nanny on a daily basis. They were a significant part of my daily routine and although I was checking in on them, they were also checking in on me.
I was blessed to have family that I wanted to talk to and hear from. Many people rarely speak to their parents and they have a totally different relationship than I had. For those who don’t have that type of relationship, not being able to call someone after an evening class on the way to your car may not make sense.
As I am a planner, I did reach out to a friend and let her know I would be calling her after my class. I need to continue this ritual and she understand this need and has talked me home more times than I can remember. I am grateful she is there. She has even stated that she will call me if she hasn’t heard from me in a few days. Technically, there are others that I could call but I don’t want to impose on their lives – as I know they are busy with their children, busy with their own lives. They don’t have time to take a call from me because I’m walking to my car.
Over the weekend, a friend asked about another friend that she hadn’t seen in awhile and I was able to share I had recently had lunch with them. “You’re so good at keeping connected.” she responded.
The fact is, I have lost the ease of having family that I can simply turn to – for shopping trips, movies and simple phone calls. My family of my Mom and Nanny is no longer here. I do have an Aunt but we have never had the closest of relationships and are in the building process. We are also fortunate that James’ parents are still alive and healthy as well as his Grandmother but we are also dealing with the fact they are becoming older. Also, as much as I know they love me and consider me their daughter – they are not MY family.
As a result of this, I know I must make an effort to stay connected with my friends. Friends are the people who choose to be in your life and I am blessed. Sadly, everyone is so busy and stressed with their own lives that it could be very easy to fall into the old patterns I have discussed in my blog of simply going home after work and saying “let’s get together” but the getting together doesn’t happen. What I have found is that when I do reach out to certain friends I haven’t heard from in awhile that they are grateful. We are all in need of each other. It takes work and effort and I do have some friends that I haven’t seen in awhile because our schedules never seem to synch.
My question for you today is what does your family look like? Perhaps it is traditional with lots of aunts and uncles, grandparents and your parents along with kids or perhaps it is like my friend who shared she doubted she would ever find a husband ( and she isn’t sure she wants one) because she is simply happiest when she is surrounded by her male gay friends. I continue to be in the process of reconnecting pieces of my life and in many ways I am establishing a new family.
When you are walking to your car at night on a college campus – who will you call?