In this month of hearts and proclamations of love, something that happened a decade ago, captured like a digital photo with its image held in my memory until called up, was triggered for me by an observation on a recent wintry weekend.
While waiting for our lunch order to arrive, I noticed a mother and teen daughter, seated at an adjacent table, attempting a conversation. The daughter started to tell her mother about school, but with each holding a cell phone and responding to incoming sounds and vibrations, the conversation was frequently paused. Eventually their attempt at conversing stopped, replaced with phone immersion by both as they quietly ate their salads
That brief encounter triggered a memory I didn’t know was stored, about me and my mother at our breakfast table. At the time, we were living in Montana and my mother, then in her late 80s, spent summers with us. Like a movie trailer, the memory offered a glimpse of me cajoling, enticing, encouraging, and coaxing her to take her pills so I could get to my “real work.” Lyrics from a Stephen Stills song, performed by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, “love the one you’re with,” played with a different take in my mind from the song’s intended theme.
The snapshot is clear that I wasn’t particularly engaged, nor loving. I was annoyed at (continue reading →)