Over dinner a few years ago, a good friend’s husband asked the group how many voicemails we each had saved. His wife, one of my dearest friends, had about a dozen, while he had only two or three. At any given moment, I might have ten or twenty saved. Currently, I have over 30. I can explain, really.
Saving My Loved One’s Voicemails
Each time my Dad, my brother, or a close friend leaves a voicemail, I save it. I’ll continue to re-save it until that person leaves another voicemail. It doesn’t really matter what the message is, and I have saved more “I’m on my way home from work, hope you had a great day” messages from my brother than I can count. I need to know I have at least one message saved from each person I love.
My friend, with the large stash of saved voicemails, lost her brother just a few months after I lost my mom. I didn’t ask, but I’m pretty sure she does it for the same reason I do.
Losing My Mom
After my mom died, it took me a while to recognize all of the things that I lost when I lost her. There are the obvious things, like not having someone to send a card to on Mother’s Day. And then there were the less obvious things, like no longer having someone who would always understand and empathize with the fact that it wasn’t fair that I could still get pimples when I was starting to get wrinkles around my eyes.
There are also things no one can possibly tell you. Like the fact that no one would ever care as much as she would have how my oldest child looks like me when he’s sleeping. There’s also the realization that no matter how many photos I had (a lot) or how many pieces of her jewelry I wore to work each week (more than reasonable) there were some things that were just gone forever.
I Wish I Had A Recording Of My Mom
I don’t have any recording of Mom’s voice. Not one of the hundreds of voicemails she left to tell me she loved me, or ask where I wanted to eat when I came to visit. Not a single poor-quality VHS tape of her singing Happy Birthday to me or my brother.
I would give anything to hear her say my name, or ask for a glass of water, or yell at the cat for knocking something over. No one ever tells you how much value a voice holds and that there is nothing that will fill the void that it leaves.