Daniel doesn’t visit me here at the old folks home. It’s chock-full of the elderly and I know most of us have long since lost our minds, but that’s no excuse for a son not to visit their mother, is it?
He still calls, at least. I can tell he doesn’t enjoy it though. He’s always talking about that wife of his too much, and how they keep seeing her parents for all the holidays. Honestly, it’s about all I can stand. I stick with it to hear about my darling grandkids and how well they’re doing in school. Education is important.
I live for those calls, I’ll admit. It’s the only thing I can look forward to anymore. Just because I’m old doesn’t mean I magically love bingo, jello, and black-and-white musicals. Christ, those leads are bad actors. No one’s ever been that happy in all of history.
The grandkids seem to grow up faster each time I hear about them. Lucy had all but started kindergarten and now she’s already winning the school science fair. And little Brandon’s the star forward on the soccer team! You don’t have to ask where they got those genes from.
But maybe they’re changing more quickly because he’s calling me less. When every week is the same time is harder to track. I hope someday Daniel puts his kids on so I can talk to them directly, but every time I ask he dodges the question. Says something about them not being ready.
Who needs to be ready to speak with their own grandmother?
I’ve been more forceful about his needing to visit lately. The calls are too infrequent and it’s been years since I’ve seen his face. I don’t care what his wife or her family says, a mother needs to see her son. She’ll go crazy otherwise.
I finally asked him why he hasn’t visited in so long. He could only ignore my request so many times before I broke him. “Hurt me all you like,” I told him, “but at least tell me why you haven’t visited me!”
His voice cracked so hard it damn near broke my heart to hear it. “Because, mom… I haven’t died yet.”