I open my eyes and orient myself to the room. I have been going back and forth so often between Albany and the city, I forget where I am. That’s right, I’m on the sleeper couch in the living room in Manhattan. Fortunately it has a good mattress.
I reach for my phone to make sure I haven’t missed any calls or messages. I briefly scroll my Facebook feed.
I turn to look out the large picture window. I notice in the corner that the sun is casting a perfect shadow through the lead glass vase that sits on a small table in the corner. I look closely at the shadow – the rope that wraps the top of the vase is projected in detail onto the wall. The imperfections in the surface of the glass are illuminated, as well. I imagine Andrew Wyeth could paint this and capture the beauty of the vase, the light and the shadow. I wish I could paint it, but since I can’t, I roll out of bed taking my phone. I take two pictures before the light changes. I want to share this image, this lovely moment.
I consider posting it on Facebook, but think better of that – what would be the point? Really, does the world need another pseudo-artistic photograph? Instead, I text the picture to my two kids and my husband. Leah is in Seattle, so it is just after 4 a.m. there. I know she puts her phone on silent when she sleeps so it won’t wake her. Dan and his wife are on an early morning flight to New Orleans for a long weekend so he will get the text and photo when he lands. Gary is already at work in Albany. I am in our apartment in Manhattan, looking after my 82 year old mother, asleep in the bedroom, recovering from lung surgery.
I text: I don’t know if this photo does it justice, but woke up to see this beautiful shadow on the wall. Wanted to share it.
Gary responds with: Very nice but how about a photo [if] your smiling face.
Where is autocorrect when you need it?
I text back: 🙂
I am a lucky woman. Gary often responds with sweet comments.
A while later my phone dings. Dan’s text reads: On the ground in Atlanta. Transfer in an hour or so. Very nice picture, Ma.
Two hours after that, Leah texts: Really cool shadow, Ma!
And so it goes. Many days the four of us are in conversation in this way; brief moments of sharing. Sometimes one of us doesn’t chime in, but we know that we will all have seen the exchange at some point. It helps me to feel connected to them despite the miles between us.
I still miss them.