Sunday, April 06, 2008

Phone calls

This afternoon, my Nana called to check up on me. It was a bizarre conversation, almost as if she was cross-examining me. At one point, she said, "Is there anything else I'm supposed to ask you?"

I said "Nana, what are you talking about?"

She said, "Well, when you would talk to your mother, what would she ask you?"

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I opted for laughter then, but as I'm typing this I have tears in my eyes. After all, there's something precious and funny -- and at the same time, horribly sad -- about my Nana feeling that she somehow needs to be my mother's conversation replacement. But no one -- not even my determined little grandmother -- could ever be that; it's pointless to even try.

So, I told my Nana about the phone conversations. How I talked to my mother almost every day, about nothing and everything. About how sometimes it was to ask a question, and sometimes it was just to tell her about something I did or something I bought -- but how the conversation never went according to a script.

But I didn't tell Nana about the real point of almost all of the conversations: To make my mother laugh. On the airplane down to Florida exactly two months ago, one of the things I jotted in my notebook was that "She always found my strangeness funny. And I always obliged because I didn't care if she was laughing with me or at me. As long as she was laughing."

At the funeral, I stood up and said some things, most of which I don't really remember. I do, however, know that I said that my mother had the best laugh. And it's that, not the rambling conversations, that I miss the most.

1 comment:

E :) said...

Your Nana is so sweet. It might be helping her grieving process to speak with you about these things as well, but it is so lovely that she cares and thinks about the little things that matter.

It's also lovely that one of your fondest memories is of your mother's laugh. That's really wonderful.