It was a phone call that came every single year on Oct. 25, at exactly 1:09 p.m.

It goes back to high school and continued for many, many years.

My mother would always call me then because that is when I was born. She would leave messages on the answering machine at home that I would play when I checked them.

It continued into college and after that. Always a message on the machine and when cell phones became a big thing in the mid-90’s, it always happened.

In 2007, we started noticing that mom was getting sick and forgetting so many simple things. In 2009, it was getting pretty bad, but like clockwork, my phone rang and there she was.

I knew without a shadow of a doubt that would be the last time that would happen. I was with her a day before my birthday the next year and she had called me by a different name and it was tough going. I knew no call was going to come so I was grateful for all the years it happened.

Sometimes, God does something for us that we can never fully process and all we can do is say thanks.

Oct. 25, 2010, at exactly 1:09 p.m., my phone rang.


“Hi Honey, I wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Forty-two years ago right now, I saw you for the very first time.”

“Thank you, Mom. I love you.”

She passed away eight months later.

I had read that even in the darkest moments when they are battling memory loss, there are still moments of clarity, few and far between, where everything is normal to them.

I thank God on that day, it was.

So now at 1:09 P.M. on Oct. 25, every year since she has been gone, I go to see her and we talk and laugh.

And I turn my phone off.

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