Saturday, February 27, 2010

Perspective and How To Get It

My mother and her husband head to Hawaii every year around February/ March. They have for the past six or seven years. They used to go for two weeks. Now they go for three. It's their favorite vacation spot. They stay in the same condo, they know their fellow vacationers pretty well, and they go where the locals go. They're pretty comfortable on the island of Maui.

So, here I am, back in Pittsburgh. Another rushed morning. This time, it's Saturday. The Kid had a friend spend the night last night. Now they're both dragging their feet and the Kid needs to get to a swimming lesson. In the middle of this the phone rings. My husband gets it- it's my mother.

A tsunami is supposed to hit the island. They are leaving their condo at 5am to head up the hill and wait it out at the little airport on the island. No time to talk. She just wanted to let us know what was happening. And that's it.

I don't fall apart, but I'm worried. My mom and I are pretty close. We weren't always. Our relationship has been much better since I've become an adult. And it probably continues to get better the older we get. That doesn't mean that she still can't drive me crazy. But she usually doesn't. And I rely on her for a lot. Even if it's just to call and chat.

I think about it all morning at the swimming lesson. The Kid and I come home and watch the weather channel with my husband. For a few hours. I worry. I can't picture life without my mom. Without being able to call her anytime I want to. Friends of mine have lost their mothers, and I realize I can't possibly fully know what it has meant to them. I can't fathom it for myself.

The hours drone on. Nothing happens. At one point the water starts to look rough, and the reporters brace themselves for their *big* story. And then... And then it never happens. The storm passes. Our television is turned off.

I am relieved.

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