End the Call
A couple of weeks ago, Charli and I were headed home from the airport after our college tours in New York. It was about 10:30 at night, and I knew our trash cans had to be out early for Monday’s trash pick-up. I called Chance to ask him to pull out the cans. For some reason, Siri misunderstood my voice command. Instead, she announced:
Calling Chandler Espinoza, mobile.
Instantly, a feeling washed over me that I cannot describe. Shock, fear, frustration. Why didn’t I say it clearer? My audible response was instinctual, panicked, primal – “Shit.”
I don’t even remember how I stopped Siri from dialing the number from which would come no answer. Maybe Charli intervened. I just know it was a moment of unreality colliding with reality. Siri is calling Chandler, but I can’t let it ring, not even once! I can’t bear him not hearing the ringtone, not answering,”Hey, Mom.”
Before losing Chandler, I rarely had a potty mouth. I remember two occasions where I pulled out the mother of all bad words. Well, maybe three, but who’s counting. The first was when 8-year-old Chance was beating his head on the headboard with an excruciating migraine, and the nurse on the end of the line kept putting me on hold. The second was a few years back when a girl on the opposing soccer team intentionally pushed Charli really hard from behind, knocking her to the ground where she hit her head. Charli lay there for what seemed an eternity before she could get up. The ref appeared to be doing nothing about the girl who pushed Charli, so I may have charged the field with a choice word or two about the need for decisive action.
So it seems my potty mouth switch turns on primarily when one of my kids is in pain or in danger. Chandler’s accident and death crashed through the thresholds of both.
The point here is not my potty mouth or lack thereof. The point is, it freaking sucks to lose your son. It shatters your heart, rips you to your very core. It squeezes your soul like a ravenous python with no predictable point of release. No language, the potty variety or otherwise, can do it justice.
Sometimes, there are words. Sometimes, there are none.
Either way….you just have to end the call.