In the midst of another action packed, outdoorsy day on the sandbanks and swimming in the refreshingly clean high tides and in the midst of the cacophony of sons, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents, I found myself alone and wandering.
And I was strangely drawn to my voicemail. Strangely, because my voicemail is rubbish – it doesn’t seem to tell me when anyone has left me a message, so I have 100’s of unheard ones.
Maybe I thought I was going to clear them up? But when I realised I had messages back until early 2014, I had this powerful instinct to listen to all the ones left by my Dad… in the hope of hearing my Mumbo’s voice.
For the last 3 years or so before she went into a home, Mumbo lost her confidence on the phone but she was always in the background; Dad was so good to always speak on speaker phone so she could hear everything and chip in if she wished.
There were many messages from Dad – as we tried to catch up on a Sunday, or wish us happy birthday / Easter / Christmas..
The first snippet of Mumbo was a giggle… quiet. But it was there. Dad was asking if we had survived Halloween ‘Wah ha ha!’.. And there she was…giggling like a little girl. I listened to it a few times…It reminds me so much of my parents… Dad always making a joke, making us all laugh.
The only other was a short message from my Dad saying he was ringing to say ‘Hi!’.. and then my Mum brightly and cheerfully saying ‘Hi… Hi! Hello!’… And my heart did a little flip. It was like I was just ringing her then… For a brief moment, I felt I could say ‘hi back’.
And then the voice of my Dad explaining I wasn’t there.. and her crestfallen… ‘oh… not there and the confusion and sadness in her voice’…. Heartbreaking.. I wish I had been there at that time for her… one of her possibly more lucid moments. I hope I rang them back after that message.. I really do.
I deleted many messages today. But I kept those 2. Just so I can hear my Mumbo laugh again… and say ‘hi’ and have her say ‘hi’ back.
I wonder if that’s a weird thing to do?
Regardless, it feels comforting. Weird or not.