There are some spaces only mothers can fill

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It is said there is no greater love than a mother&8217;s. In my case, there is also no longer phone call.

Countless times, in the midst of juggling groceries or watching a TV movie&8212;one I&8217;ve seen for the hundredth time, no less&8212;my prompts of &8220;Let me call you back later&8221; go unnoticed as she barrels on about my young niece&8217;s and nephew&8217;s latest happenings or some other variety of news from back home.

If we were a cartoon strip, I&8217;d set the phone down five minutes into the call, do a few loads of laundry, knit a scarf and pop in a home workout video before returning the receiver to my ear to catch the final 30 minutes of what she&8217;s been saying.

Recently, I realized that&8217;s what mother&8217;s do&8212;they fill space. Of course they fill space in a conversation or a room. But more than that, they fill space in our hearts. They have from day one when just being near them was enough to calm unrest.

Like a mold fit to whatever is needed, they work their way in, filling space, whether it be an aching gap shaped by the loss of people or dreams or just a tiny hole left by the prick of a bad day.

When I have faced being most empty&8212;those times of lost love, new challenges, painful failures&8212;she filled me up. Nothing fancy, she just spoke across the pauses.

So I try to remember, while my mother&8217;s onslaught of speech seems to say, &8220;There&8217;s more; you don&8217;t have to get off the phone yet,&8221; I know the sentiment behind it is just another way she tells me, &8220;You don&8217;t have to overcome that emptiness yourself.&8221;

Even as I grow older, I know there will still be those days, those spaces only my mother can fill. It&8217;s good to know she&8217;s merely a dial tone and 10 numbers away. It&8217;s even better to know I won&8217;t have to talk if I don&8217;t want to