I miss my mom.
I don't know where the feeling came from, but it slapped me into my chair tonight, and it hasn't let go. It's not mourning, exactly, but it is sadness and it was abrupt.
All right, maybe I do know where it came from. The phone rang, and while I had no intention of answering it I did go over to see who Caller ID said it was. It was a familiar number, but nothing I'd pick up for; just some spam caller who has been calling, letting it ring twice, and then hanging up.
It's rare that I will actually answer the phone anymore. There are only two people I know for sure I'll have a fair shot at understanding, the Spouse Thingy and the Boy. And understanding them is not a guarantee, but I don't feel bad asking them to repeat over and over.
It doesn't help if the person on the other end speaks louder; it's a frequency issue. You can call me and speak at a volume so high you're on the edge of shouting, but that won't help. Then all I hear is a loud jumble of sounds. And face it, you can only ask someone to repeat themselves a certain number of times before they get frustrated.
Hell, I get frustrated, too.
But...the phone rang and I checked to see who it was, knowing I probably wouldn't answer. Anyone who knows me well enough knows my issues and would only call in a real emergency. I shuffled back to my chair, where I was surfing through FARK, and as I sat down it hit me hard.
I'm never going to talk to my mom on the phone again.
I hadn't talked to her on the phone for over a year before she died, because her age-weakened voice was less than a whisper to me, and I couldn't make heads or tails out of what she was saying. I've felt bad about it but not guilty, because there's not a lot I can do about it. It is what it is, even though what it is kind of sucks.
I don't know if she truly grasped my hearing problems for what they were; she had slipped into early dementia by that last phone call, and while she likely understood, she might not have actually understood, if that makes sense.
I last spoke to her on Christmas Day 2011. It was a shorter call than normal, because we were headed out the door. I intended to call back in a week or two, but by then the ringing in my ears had increased, and phones were more problematic than ever. I had hopes of finding something to fix that, but some things aren't so easily fixed.
I can still her hear voice. I'm not worried that it will fade from my memory; I can still hear my dad's voice and he's been gone since 2010. I think those sounds are hard wired into my brain and the right triggers will always bring them forward. I just hate that my damned hearing robbed me of any chance to add to that audible memory bank, and stripped me of any chance to make her laugh just one more time.
I'm going to squash it down with chocolate ice cream...she would approve, especially knowing I'm lactose intolerant and there will be a price to pay.
But...the damned phone rang tonight, and now I miss my mom.