The voice was distant and distorted from the wind on the other end.
"Yes?" Wow... I sounded more desperate than I thought I might.
Oh God, is it her? Did she decide to finally call me back after all this time?
Oh shoot... she can't hear me! Why else does she sound so confused?
"Lauren? Is that you?"
Oh God, NO!! It has to be her!!
"No... I'm sorry... I think I have the wrong number."
I hold the phone for too long. On the other side, a click. I hang up.
Then the tears come... too many too quickly. Probably to make up for avoiding the pain all morning.
Today is my daughter's eighteenth birthday. I haven't seen her since her sixteenth. I have tried... so many times... to make things right for us. But it's come down to her decision. I wonder if and when she will ever make that choice to return my calls and emails. She has a completely separate life now, but I still count her in mine. I wait patiently and try not to let myself get too depressed about it. But red letter dates like the day I brought her into this world... those days... well, I just can't ignore the sadness... the vast distance between us. When that call came this morning as I was sipping my coffee, I went from high hopes to absolute devastation. Of all the days for a call like that to happen... Jesus!!
For now, I send messages. I wait. And I pray that one day that phone will ring and instead of hearing, "I think I have the wrong number," I might hear...
"Mom... it's me... Lauren."