A Random Connection
I’ve stumbled upon old things before. Older pictures of the kids, a card that was sent to me many years ago, even long-forgotten messages that were there for me to see.
Today, though, in the middle of the mundane task of doing my taxes for 2014 the strangest thing happened.
My daughter’s phone was broken, in the middle of all the boring tasks of real life. I had set up an appointment for her, but her phone didn’t work, thus severing the immediate connection I had with her not more than a week ago. It’s a funny thing. I saw several eras of technology in a very short time. When I was very little there was one phone and it was attached to the wall. In the 1990s there was a period between the wear-on-your-belt pager and the cell phone where people chatted via email and web chat. (Stone age technology, I know)
So this 1990s connection was the way I talked with my daughter. Not horrible, not great. But I needed her Social Security number and she had her card at college. Months ago she’d given me her number so while I waited for her response . . . which was via email . . . I began to think I could scroll through my old texts and find it from her.
Randomly, with no apparent reason, my wife showed up on the list of text messages. She passed away almost four years ago.
Bear in mind that when I moved phones and ran out of space I deleted most my texts. When I looked through all the messages I sent and received from Andrea they were sad in how ordinary and boring they were. No “I love you’s” at the end or sappy messages. Most asked what was for dinner or what have you.
The messages were from a period not long before she passed away. We were both exceptionally worried about my oldest daughter. She’d had Mono . . . and there was worry after that, much later, she’d had a problem with her spleen and might need anything from a course of treatment to surgery to God knows what.
There were pleas for me to come home early. In fact, there was nearly a daily plea for me to come home or call out sick or any reason. At this point, she was home with the kids, lonely, wanting another adult. The problem for me was the fact that I was the only income so I couldn’t. I was happy my messages weren’t acrid in their response, but they were firm. I know they had to be, but it’s hard to read.
Still…compared to others, there is warmth there. In the past I’d have been sad that I found these messages, they don’t show a bright spot, they don’t show poor times (well these have some of that) they just show life. It’s a life, though, I haven’t lived in more than three years. The part that saddens me is that it’s a life I will not go back to living, nor would I if given the chance. Too much has happened, too much water flowing under the planks on our bridge. Part of me misses things but part of me sees so much promise in the future.
There’s promise in living the way we do. There’s not a lot of money, but one thing the messages showed me is how much we did struggle then. That’s not because of her, we’re just in different situations now.
Part of me sees this, as I put on the title to this site, as a new start. That includes a new start for me. I have a different job. I’m writing music. I look forward to who may come into my life in the future, whatever may happen.
Maybe they showed up because my daughter’s broken phone is connected to my account. Maybe it’s the fates sending me random thoughts. Still, it’s a random connection to the past, that shows a glimpse, too, of what promise the future holds. That, it seems, was the best part.