“So sorry I couldn’t talk, I was on the phone with my mom”

“Oh- my dad is beeping in, I will call you back”

These are tough one-liners I often hear. I am happy that my friends are so close with their parents. My friends all have tight family relationships, and I wouldn’t want any of them to experience the tragedy that I have. The words just sound so casual coming out of their mouths, while stinging me so deep.

I have thought often about writing a piece on this topic to benefit those grieving and stopped myself many times. It sounds whiny. And I am not a whiner. My friends may say, “Marcy- I would never intentionally hurt your feelings…”  “Why didn’t you tell me it was bothering you?” And that’s just it- it doesn’t bother me. These words shouldn’t stop.  I want to hear about their relationships with their parents. They should embrace their parent’s presence in their lives and spend their time talking with them. These are mutually exclusive feelings.

I just wish I could be on the joyous side, and not always on the grieving side.

In the same moment that I am so sad for myself, I am so happy for them too. I love my friends… they’re my pinnacle- and I want only the best for them.

Driving in the car is hard for me. I always used that time to call my mom, as many of my friends do too. I still think about and want the opportunity to still make that call- even eight years later. My kids say hilarious things, just like the rest of them. And a grandparent is the one to really appreciate this humor.

In addition to my kids being funny, they make me super proud. My kids attend a wonderful, public elementary school. One of our many lovable school traditions is to raise money every February for the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge program. Our family just completed our fourth campaign, and every year I insist that if they’re going to get involved, they’re going to do it right. I have them record a video of why this is important to them, and what the money will go toward. They also help set up their online portal and send the first solicitation email. My son, Shai, who is in 3rd grade is so motivated to raise money for the cause. He comes home every day and asks if new donations were made. He was even willing to make follow up phone calls to secure donations. I was also very motivated to be successful in these types of projects as a kid. It led to a very successful career in sales, and my dad was also very passionate about sales too. He helped me succeed in Girl Scout Cookie campaigns. It hurts my heart that I can’t share with my parents the details of the Kids Heart Challenge campaign. They’d get such a kick out of these skills continuing in our family.

As much as my friends and family try and understand my grief, they can’t fathom how hard it is to not pick up the phone to tell mom or dad something so ordinary. Ask a quick question about parenting.  ANY REASON.

As I write this, I want to casually say out loud, only to myself, “sorry- I was just telling my mom about what happened today… so how are you?”  AHHH  the beauty of those words.  It feels so odd to formulate those words. The words that I will never have the need to say again.  The important stories and cute moments my parents will never get to hear. The ease of sharing a tough day with someone who loves me in a way that others can’t. This is the sadness I keep with me every day.