I was standing in my kitchen tonight, peeling some old wrinkled apples in order to turn them into apple sauce, when my cell phone rang. It was my mom, calling from my sister’s concert. She was calling to tell me how much she wished I was there. I felt a quick, sharp pang near my heart and had to swallow before I could reply.
“I know, I wish I was there too.”
She narrated the goings-on for awhile, noting when a couple friends that reach back to our days at Bridlemile Elementary School walked in with their parents. The fact that my old friend Kate got to be there and I didn’t seemed hugely unfair in that moment. The running commentary continued as my dad walked up to her with a glass of Martinelli’s sparkling cider in one hand and a cookie in the other. He leaned in and shouted into the phone, “Hey Meece, we miss you!” We said our good-byes and hung up.
This is all part of the price I pay for choosing to live 3,000 miles away from my family. I participate in a lot of the big events via a telephone receiver. I am grateful I live in the age of cell phones, where instant connection with any member of my family is only the press of a speed-dial button away. But lately, when I’m having a bitch of a time reorienting to my life and not feeling particularly confident that things will turn out well for me, a cell phone isn’t a great comfort.