I remember back in the dark ages when I called Mom and Dad from college I would ring twice and hang up and they could call me back. It was a way of saving on those “collect call” fees.
These days things are incredibly easier. Timothy is doing a semester abroad in Parma, Italy (lucky dog) and you’d think we’d never hear from him. I remember when calling from Europe required a long expensive wait at the post office. Not now. We’ve got Skype.
Last Saturday, Carol was on the phone with William in California and I was talking to Timothy in Italy. We discussed all that good Italian food he’s eating, the local Parmesan cheese and delicious prosciutto. He described his classes and how easy it is to get around by bike. Meanwhile Carol was talking to William about the bike accident he had. He flew over a pothole while fetching some burritos. All at once we switched, and Carol was addressing Timothy on the computer and I was on the phone to Will (“You did what on your bike?”).
But then our calls came to an end with a certain uniformity. “I love you,” I said to Will. “Love you too, Dad.” “I love you,” Carol said to Tim. “Love you too, Mom.” Then I said “I love you” to Tim and Carol switched back to say a farewell “Love you” to Will.
My mother always said the last thing she did before she fell asleep was to picture her kids and pray for them. I do the same thing, but I don’t have to do much work picturing them. I can still hear their voices ringing in my ear.