It is my birthday.
It was a day that my mom went way out of her way, to make it special for me.
But it was a phone call she always made, at the exact time, every year, that made it perfect.
She would always call me at 1:09 p.m.
That was the time I was born.
It started in high school when she would call our answering machine and leave a message for me that I would hear when I got home.
In college, same thing.
Cell phones roll around but this time, no message.
“Hi honey. Happy Birthday. I love you!”
“Thank you mom. I love you too.”
In 2007, we noticed our mom starting to get sick. Forgetting things here and there, not bad at first, but still a concern.
2009, she had gotten worse but like clockwork on my birthday at 1:09, my phone rang.
“Hi Honey. Happy Birthday. I love you!”
“I love you too.’
I knew in my heart, that would be the last time she would call on my birthday.
Her mind was going and as much as it bothered me, I accepted it.
I was with her the day before and she barely remembered me.
“Hi Honey. It is 1:09. 42 years ago right now, I saw you for the very first time.”
“Thank you Mom. I love you.”
She would pass away 8 months later.
On my birthday the following year, as much as I wanted that damn phone ring, I thanked God profusely that it didn’t.
it did, I would know that my mom was still battling that hell we call alzheimers.
So now at 1:09 p.m. rain or shine, on my birthday, I will grab lunch and head over to her grave.
I have been doing it now for 3 years.
Will do it the rest of my life.
And I will turn my phone off.