The distance between my current home of Austin and my mom's home in Boston is 1,951 miles. That's 4 hours by plane, 30 hours by car, and some 630 hours by foot.
Although our world is full of devices that keep us connected, it doesn't quite replace the experience of sitting next to her to talk about nothing. Nothing: It's asking a question like "What did you have for lunch today", watching recorded episodes of Investigation Discovery, or sharing silence in the car.
I don't plan on moving back to Boston anytime soon (much to her chagrin) so I'm working to find new ways to stay connected and share stories of the everyday. First step to get this started? Text. A lot. Things like pictures of me cooking our family's red sauce, videos of my boyfriend making his first cup of espresso, or a "hey, momma!" message followed by a nonsensical emoticon.
In my most recent text, I sent a photo of all the pretty things that adorn my desk: a glass jar carrying a dried rose, a brass bell nestled in a small wooden candle holder, and a tag that reads "because I said I would." She loved it and reciprocated with a photo of her desk. It was...messy. Lots of papers, a few family photos, and a shelf full of nursing books.
With retirement in her not-too-distant future, I know she won't want to devote any time to desk beautification -- so I took it upon myself to do it for her. Here is what I sent:
1. A collection of colorful tags
2. A blank card that reads "You + Me = Magic"
3. And a card I designed to serve as a reminder that we far away but still very close.
I love to hear new ways to stay connected to family and friends - it is so important!