What can YOU say in six sentences?
August 31st at 5:27PM: “Hey Mommy!” He is whispering, prompting the babies: Say, “We love you! We miss you! And we’re doing okay! We made it through the storm.” The babies take over saying ‘okay’ - cause it’s a funny word – giggling, blowing kisses, saying goodbye, and then Xavier is heard over everyone saying in his distinctive Teletubbie voice, “I love you Mommy,” before the line dies.
September 6th at 8:59PM: I hear the babies in the background as he says he loves me and can’t wait to hear from me as soon as I can get away. He wants to know if I got the kids’ pictures. Tells me that the kids are planning a birthday party for me, better late than never, and how they all miss me. Then the phone falls and a charming little lady says, “I wanna say that as soon as you get this message can you please call me, Symone, the number is 555-555-5555. Again, the number is 555-555-5555.” She giggles, the others join in, and they all say, “We love you!”
It was just supposed to be a month, 958 miles, apart not forever. Why couldn’t we have been available to take the other’s call? Why was everything left to simple voicemails, letters, drawings, and cards? I don’t want these messages to be all I have left of them. For twenty-two days -- twenty-two days, eleven hours, and seventeen minutes -- I dreamt of them running into my arms, showering them with the kisses they blew to me over the phone, and finding peace again even if it was just for a little while. They made it through one storm.