My mother hasn’t answered the phone in two days.
When I saw her last, we were in Greensboro, North Carolina, where my 15 year old son is in a group home. We were there for his hearing, that was ultimately delayed because the court had yet to receive correspondence from the state of Georgia pertaining to releasing jurisdiction of the case to North Carolina. This was the second time this happened. Although we feigned annoyance, I believe we both had begun to not only appreciate, but look forward to these impromptu family reunions. We had even developed a fondness for the hotel we had stayed in, the Drury on West gate Boulevard. On weekdays it had a mixer at 5 pm wherein guest got two free drink tickets and enjoyed nachos and salsa along with watered-down long Island ice teas and bud lights. Crews of dry wall speckled plumbers from Tennessee, the church group from Dallas, the elders of the soccer team from New Jersey, all sat in a comfortable clutter of conversation as the local news gave the predicted weather report for the upcoming weekends azalea festival. “I reserved a room for the 21st,” she chirped, which was the date for my son’s next court hearing.
My mother had recently realized a life long dream of living in beach front property, having moved out the home we shared during my high school years and renting a small apartment in Fort Monroe, a former army base in Hampton Virginia. I felt terrible not being able to assist her financially with the move, but even moreso for not being there in a physical capacity, being that I live in Atlanta Georgia. I often felt that I was a disappointment to my mother. I hadn’t been particularly successful academically or professionally. I had made a mess of my personal life, having 3 children with an incredibly bitter woman who had kept the kids from us for most of their young life. Moving them from squalor to squalor back and forth from New York City to North Carolina. My oldest son had seemingly finally rebelled, getting in a fight with his youngest brother that resulted in his being removed from the home at his mother’s request.
So there we found ourselves, in Greensboro, North Carolina. I felt good buying my mother a full tank of gas to get on the road with. As we both pulled off into traffic, she jokingly yelled out to me, “hey cutie!”, to which I blushed and laughed. She called me later that night to say she arrived home safely. And that was it. Each of my calls since has been met with the voice mail, and though I haven’t gone into panic mode yet, I can’t help but to be looking forward even more to that evening mixer at the Drury hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina.