There’s a routine. A way I do things. Every night before I close my eyes and sleep I turn the ringer off on my phone. Plug it in to charge and curl up on my side to close my eyes and sleep.
Except last night.
Last night I turned the ringer up. Set my phone in the nook of my headboard and only fell asleep after hours. Hours of thoughts and words.
I knew in the morning my phone would ring. I knew it would wake me up. I knew I wouldn’t like what I had to hear, but I would have no choice but to hear it.
At 8:26 Sunday morning my phone did ring. I reached up with my eyes closed and answered without looking to see who it was. I was only going through the motions. I knew my mother was on the other end. I knew she was going to tell my that her mother, a woman I have never been able to respect or agree with, was gone. She died Sunday morning in the ICU. Heart failure. Kidney Failure. Pneumonia.
She was old. She’d been ill for a long time.
I hadn’t seen her in 17 years.
Still I grieve. But I can grieve with my ringer off.