34: A Phone Call Away

34: A Phone Call Away

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Best Mom Ever!

A Phone Call Away

No mother and daughter ever live apart, no matter what the distance between them.

~Christie Watson

It was moving-in day. I was exhilarated as we set up my dorm room. But as I stood on the lawn with my mother, watching the other kids happily wave goodbye to their parents, it hit me — I was going to be alone. I started to cry and I held onto my mother as though she would disappear from my life without a trace once she got in the car.

While I had been away from home without her before, those trips were always short. This time we’d be separated for most of the year. I was not ready for this.

My mother was crying, too. But through her tears, she tried to reassure me. “I will call you tonight,” she said. “You can call any time, even at three in the morning; I will always answer. And we’ll see each other soon. Thanksgiving is not that far off. You’ll see.”

Those words and the phone calls helped me immensely those first few months.

I called her constantly, but I still missed her and phone calls could only do so much.

I made one quick visit home in October for my mother’s birthday, but I mostly focused on my schoolwork. Math class was particularly challenging, so when I got an A on a project, I was thrilled. But when I called my mother to tell her, I broke down in tears.

By the time she answered the phone I was already sobbing. I didn’t like the fact that I had to call her to share my good news. I wanted to be with her, to tell her in person. I told her that I was done and I wanted to come home.

My mother made shushing noises, and when I was finally quiet, she said in a soft reassuring voice, “Listen to me, you can do this. I know you have worked hard and will work harder to make me proud, like you always do. Just because we are miles apart does not mean that I’m not with you. You are stronger and smarter than me. You are capable of more than you think. I’m always only a phone call away, day or night.”

That conversation lasted another three hours.

I have never forgotten her words. Nor have I forgotten the numerous conversations after that. My mother always made time for me.

Sometimes I find myself being critical of my mother’s choices. And while I admire her fierce personality, I sometimes wish she would remember we are different people. I’m a bit of a hermit. She’s not. That is frustrating for her, but she never judges. After all, she’s the one who spent hours upon hours on the phone with me my freshman year. I know I can rely on her, whenever, wherever, however. I hope that I will be the same kind of mother one day.

~Leila Feliciano

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