After my roommate lost her job due to the corona outbreak, she left to stay with her mother on the other side of the country. People my age probably aren’t all too worried about their parents, aging around 60 to 65. If they don’t suffer from any serious illness and stay inside, that is.
What my roommate doesn’t know is that my parents passed away 4 and 5 years ago.
I have no one to worry about, but I wish I did. More than ever I want to have my parents with me again. Be on the phone and discuss their daily routine, how they are enjoying their retirement together, and spend more time than ever in the garden when the sun is out. I imagine listening to their stories about standing in line to enter the supermarket where only a max of 20 people are allowed inside — and they are not allowed to go together. I can see my dad sitting in front of his computer while my mom is reading a book on the couch. Things they would always do.
I can hear my mother worrying over the phone, concerned about my brother’s and my well-being. Are we following the measures taken by the government? Do we avoid seeing others? Did I just sneeze? Am I feeling okay!?
And for a moment we’re exactly doing this, somewhere. It is as if we actually spoke on the phone, and we’ve just hung up. The frequency of our voices fading from the living room. The warmth of my mother’s words covering my heart.
In the back of my head, there is a voice whispering I should be happy I don’t have anyone to worry about. But instead there is a feeling of grief. I miss my mother’s voice telling me I should stay safe, and keep her updated. I miss hearing my dad never taking these things very seriously, dealing with it in his own way. I miss being missed.
‘I don’t really have any family to see,’ I tell my roommate. And that’s the end of the topic.
My dad’s birthday is coming up, and there’s a big chance I’ll forget thinking about it. Just as I forgot to remind myself of the day my mom passed. But in these times I don’t need special dates to be reminded of my parents. They are with me, any time of the day. And all I can do is give myself some extra attention, only because my parents can’t.