“Be careful,” said Mr. H. as I headed out the door. “It rained this morning; there could be some slippery spots on the road.”
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll take it slow so I can look at the scenery.”
I was on my way to an appointment, hadn’t had much sleep and was planning to travel the old two-lane country road I'd traveled many times before.
As I drove the long, lonely stretch – not another car in sight – tiny raindrops peppered my windshield and Willy Nelson sang “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain” on the radio.
Gray clouds hung overhead and I thought about all the things I’ve had on my plate recently. All the peace and happiness that I usually feel while traveling this highway didn’t materialize.
I felt sad.
At times like this, I miss my mother. In the past, I would have phoned her and talked ten minutes and everything would have been fine. She always knew what to say. No. It wasn’t what she said. It was the way she listened.
Once I had poured out all my problems and concerns to her, they didn’t seem so big anymore. She was like a psychiatrist who lets his patients talk until they work out their own problems.
But I haven’t been able to talk to my mother for more than ten years. What’s more, I’m the matriarch of the family now. Everyone looks to me for answers. And sometimes I don’t have them.
What do you say to your child when she says, “The doctor will fix me up eventually, won’t he?” And to your granddaughter when she says, “Is my mom gonna be okay?”
Where will I find the answers? On this lonely road that I love so much? In the cloudy sky? Perhaps there are no answers.
At least none that I want to explore.