Mom, I’m going to be late…

Occasionally I get a glimpse into what my children will be like in the future.  I got another glimpse this morning when my oldest added an alarm to my phone to remind me of something I need to do today, while my youngest claimed she’d lost her pants, again.  

Christmas Eve, 2032

*a telephone rings

HALIA:  Hello?

MOM:  Hey, Squish!  I was just calling about dinner tomorrow

HALIA: *sighs  Yes, I just sent the file to you.  I’ll be leaving my place at 3:07pm, which means I’ll arrive at 4:30pm.  In the file is the route I plan on taking, as well as a link so you can follow my progress on the way.  I didn’t recieve your meal plan for tomorrow, so I took it upon myself to order in some groceries yesterday.  Did you recieve them?

MOM: Yes, I did, but –

HALIA:  I also included the recipes in the file.

MOM:  You know, I have done this before, Halia…

HALIA:  Yes, I know you have, Mom.  I just want to make it easier for you.  I’ve sent notifications to your phone to let you know what time to preheat the oven and when to start cooking the turkey.  I’ll take care of the veggies when I get there.  

MOM:  I was thinking we could have…

HALIA:  We are having turkey, Mom.  No substitutes this year.  

MOM:  OK, fine.  Have you heard from your sister?

HALIA:  No, but I did locate her phone.  

MOM:  Oh, where is she?

HALIA:  Maybe you should just call her.  I’m sick of having the same conversation with her.  

MOM:  OK.  I’ll see you tomorrow

*a telephone rings

LEONA:  Mom!

MOM:  Hey Squeakers!  Halia told me to call you about Christmas dinner.  

LEONA:  Yes, for sure!  When is that?

MOM:  On Christmas day, of course.

LEONA:  Oh, yeah, I knew that…

MOM:  That’s tomorrow.

LEONA:  Oh, um, I’m going to be late.  

MOM:  I haven’t told you the time yet.

LEONA:  Yeah, um, Mom, the thing is…

Hang on…

*there’s rustling over the phone and Leona speaks to someone nearby

Excuse me, could you tell me where I am?  

Are you sure?

Well, yes, I suppose most people would be sure of where they live

*Leona comes back to speak to Mom again

The thing is, I’m in New Delhi  

Mom, are you still there?

MOM:  Oh, Leona…

LEONA:  Mom, I can explain!  I’ll be there for New Years!  I promise!

MOM: That’s in a week.

LEONA:  Make that Valentine’s Day.

MOM:  Just bring me back something nice.

LEONA: Speaking of buying things…

MOM: *sighs  Yes, I’ll send some money.  

LEONA:  Thanks Mom  

Be Good.

I had to google how to write a eulogy.  In my mind it seemed so cut and dry that I thought for sure I was missing something.   

  I’m supposed to tell you how my mom was born in Brantford in 1951 to Betty Foster Hamilton, and George Jones, both of whom passed away before her 20th birthday.  I’m supposed to tell you she had a brother, Robert, who also passed away before her.  I’m supposed to tell you she grew up poor, and died not much richer.  I’m supposed to tell you a synopsis of her life but none of that will matter tomorrow.  

 But I can tell you what she’s leaving behind, and what will be missed.  

 Becky, my mom taught me the value of friendship.  She met her best friend, Karen,  when she had barely started public school, and they remained best friends through loves and loses, births and deaths, health and sickness.  I’m proud to say that I know my mom’s best friend well enough that I could recognize her laugh in a crowd.  I hope that I’m lucky enough to have you as my best friend not only for that long, but for my girls to know that they have someone looking out for them just as much as I am.  My mom taught me how important it was to be friends, and to keep them close like family.

  She left behind her laughter with my brother, Matthew.  Mashed potatoes behind the furniture.  Food fights.  Tripping over someone’s face.  Karate kids crossing the street, applecores and bad jokes.  The ability to see the punchline before the joke has been made.  The unique talent of laughing straight from the gut.  Her humour is in my brother and sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.

  She left me the rules on being a woman.  She showed me that it’s okay to be beautiful, smart, funny, strong and independant all at once.  She taught me that I should be proud of that, and never hide it away.  She taught me that Prince Charming might be a fairy tale, but that’s no reason I can’t be a legend.   

  Halia and Leona, your grandmother left strength behind for you.  Your grandmother had balls of steel.  

  Great.  Big.  Fucking. Shiny ones.  

  She took life obstacles head on, bashed her way through, and came out stronger on the other side.  She didn’t always aim her fight in the right direction, but she was a force to be reckoned with, nonetheless.  Life handed her a lot of shit, but she still fought on till the end.  If I ever teach you anything, I hope that I teach you to have even half the strength that woman had.

  When we have reached our final day, our whole life will only amount to the legacy we leave behind, the lessons that carry on beyond us, and the standards with which we held ourselves accountable.  

  In my last conversation with my mom, she told me to ‘be good.’  Such a simple sentiment, but one we often take for granted.  I’m sure part of my mother’s message was intended to remind me to stay out of trouble, but the greater lesson was to be a good person.  Be the person you want to be.  Be the person you wish the world to see.  Be the standard that others live up to.  

Just be good.  

Thank you.  

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