Four calls before 8AM

Published: September 24, 2008 | Last Updated: September 25, 2008 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading

As long as I can remember, my mom has called me at 7:46AM on every single birthday. That’s the precise time when I was born.  I remember years when I resented her calling as I was rushing to get to work or was taking advantage of a rare chance to sleep in on a weekend. Then I began to really enjoy the little ritual.

At about 7:15AM this morning, the phone rang. It was my sister calling to wish me a happy birthday. A few minutes later, my friend Betty was playing a recording of a Mañanita song on the phone to wish me a happy birthday as she had done for all her relatives in Mexico since she was a young girl. Then my friend Risa called from Maryland on my day, even though she had already called me the day before, sent a card, and sent beautiful flowers. The last call came at about 7:50; it was my friend Donna who was calling to confirm our luncheon celebration.


Before long, it was well past 8:00AM and I realized that this was the first time that my mother’s call hadn’t come. From a cascade of chronic ailments, my widowed mom has become quite frail over the last year. She is sleeping later herself, and has trouble seeing and pressing the buttons on the phone with her gnarled hands. Even when we do speak by phone and visit her several times a week, she often doesn’t hear what I’m saying. She managed to have her aide help her call me later in the morning and with some help from my friends, she was able to join us for lunch in her wheelchair. A very social person all her life, she didn’t have much to say and picked at her food. Accommodating to age, loss, and disability has been a tough passage for my mom—and for me to bear witness.


Friends help us get over life hurdles, big and little, whatever they may be.  Never underestimate how meaningful an “I’m thinking of you” phone call can be on a friend’s birthday.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Uncategorized

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Irene says:

    Especially for being such a faithful reader of my blog 🙂

  2. Irene says:

    I appreciate your warm wishes!




  3. Juliet says:

    Beautiful post.

    Happy Birthday, Irene! And happy birthing day to your mom.

  4. Sophie says:

    Your mom done good.

Leave a Reply