I have about 40 or more saved voicemail messages in my phone from my mom and dad, (mostly my mom since she calls me more often).
I started doing this last year.
I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time, I just stopped deleting their messages.
And then when my voicemail box was full and I strategically deleted all messages except those from my mom and dad, it hit me what I was doing.
Part of me is preparing for the day they are no longer here to leave me voicemail messages.
Because as your parents approach 80, things change in so many ways.
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You hold on to every moment with them.
There’s never enough time with them.
You want to capture everything about them.
You don’t want to forget anything.
You want to hear all their stories.
The stories about you that only they know.
You stop giving them advice about how they should live their life.
You don’t comment on how they only drink coffee all day and no water.
You just appreciate everything about them and everything they are.
You are just so grateful they are still here with you.
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So for now, every time I look at my voicemail messages on my phone, I feel both joy and grief.
Seeing all the saved messages from my parents.
Knowing one day I will listen to these voice messages on repeat to feel closer to them.
But for today, I get to call them and hear them answer.