Just around the corner

I saw that Mom was online and clicked on ‘video call’, smiling as I waited for her phone camera to connect with mine. I looked at the mirror image of myself in the corner of my phone screen and sighed – my hair was everywhere and I had no makeup on. I haven’t been bothered with my appearance in a very long time. Mom won’t mind.

Mom was chuckling as she answered. I love that she’s doing that again. It was a long time after Dad died when Mom started to smile again. The loss of Dad has been so painful for all of us. IS so painful. It never ends.

“Hello my Janny” she smiled into the camera “Did you get that thing I sent you?”

Mom had sent me a GIF on a Mom’s love for a daughter – it touched my heart.

I swallowed the lump in my throat down and forced myself to smile. Don’t cry, JD. You’ll upset Mom.

“Yeah I got it” I beamed a big (fake) smile “It’s beautiful Mom, thank you”

Mom put a hand over her heart “I meant it – with this” and she gently tapped her chest.

Oh Mom.

Tears sprang to my eyes and I blinked them away and asked a question to distract us both “How have you been?”

Mom laughed (no idea why she always laughs, I think Mom is just happy to be talking with someone she loves) and told me about the Covid jabs they’re giving out in the Philippines. Because she’s considered a “senior” over there, Mom got put to the front of the line (Mom liked that a lot, bless her) and got given the “Johnson and Johnson shot” (I might blog about that being the actual ‘mark of the beast‘ another day. Hmm. Concerning) and that she didn’t need a 2nd shot as many others have gotten – apparently this one was enough on its own.

“No side effects” Mom announced proudly.

“Good job, Mom” I smiled.

I didn’t realise it until Mom had said she was OK, but I’d been holding my breath – subconsciously worrying about losing another parent, I think.

Mom asked if Jay and I have been talking. We haven’t – it only happens when I reach out and Jay reluctantly replies. I don’t want Mom to know that so I lied. “Yeah sure” I said, sighing “We talk now and then (true) about you, Mom – you are the glue keeping us together”

That seemed to placate and please Mom, so I guess I did an ok job at it.

“It’s Sebby Jay’s (my brother’s son) birthday next month” Mom told me.

Great. I had no idea. I’ve not been allowed to meet my nephew but he looks as cute as a button.

“Can you please buy him a gift from me and give it to him from his Lola?”

(“Lola” is Filipino for “Nanna”)

Mom – how do I do that? Jay hasn’t told me his address – on purpose – for 4 years now.

Ahahahaha no, not Jay’s house (I’m really NOT a stalker, promise) – but definitely somewhere he’d live – Photo by Expect Best

Mom seemed to read my mind “I’ll message you Jay’s address after I get off this call with you, ok?”

“Ok” I reluctantly agreed.

Am I going to have to show up like a crazy stalker with a present for a little boy I’ve never met in my life? How is that going to go down, Mom???

Mom sent me Jay’s address and wouldn’t you know it? He lives right around the corner from me.

We could have walked into each other MANY times at the same stores. All this time…we could have hung out. My heart breaks at the alternate universe where Jay and I are still really close “Put the kettle on, I’m coming over” “Sure – see you in a minute”…oh my heart. It hurts at what could have been.

I could have bumped into Jay, Kate and little Sebastian along the sidewalk as I walked to Mayland’s Town Centre or maybe we would catch each other’s eye as we all lined up at the awesome cupcake bakery in Mount Lawley?

Or maybe not…because I don’t think Jay would do his grocery shopping at a local supermarket. He and Kate would go to some fancy “farmer’s market” and have a standing order for organic fruits, veggies and the best cuts of Wagyu steak.

It breaks my heart that for all this time…my brother has been in the same neighbourhood as me but never thought to let me know.

It’s a shame he didn’t let me meet my nephew because I guarantee you that I’d be Sebastian’s favourite person. Getting along with little ones is my heart – and my superpower.

How on earth am I going to get a gift for him from my Mom?

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