NICK HENNEN: Now I See — A Look Back

Nick Hennen looks back to a May, 2, 2015, conversation he had with his Mom shortly before she died.

It was a little tough to understand her tonight.

I decided to partially transcribe the less coherent parts as well to give me a better window into the slipping in and out of what I suppose we’d all agree is real. This was actually fairly easy as the speed of my typing against the flow of our conversation felt effortless.

Mom: “Hello.”

Me: (excited) “Hiiii, buddy.”

Mom: Laughs

Me: “The birds are singing away tonight.”

Mom: (*unintelligible)

Me: “It was a really nice day here.”

Mom: (Something about being hot)

Me: “And rain, we got rain, too!”

Mom: (*unintelligible)

(A bit of silence)

Me: “Is it hard the not getting words part?”

Mom: “Me or you?”

Me: “You.”

Mom: “Not really, if you’re on the ball.”

Me: “I can see that.”

Mom: “What’s for supper?”

Me: “Pizza.”

Mom: “Big surprise.”

Me: Laughs, “I know, right?”

Me: “Do you love me no matter what?”

Mom: “Yesssss!”

Me: Laughs

She drags her “s” as if annoyed by the question and this really cracks me up.

Mom: “That’s your new one.”

Me: “It is.”

Mom: “I think I left my watch at the park.”

Me: “It’s possible.”

Mom: “We have (@*unintelligible) going on right now down the street.”

Me: “Oh?”

Mom: “Remember how cute they were at St. George?

Me: I do!

I lie and cock my head as I do it,  having never remembered her uttering the words “St. George” before.

Mom: “I don’t even know where they are.”

Me: “I definitely don’t.”

(Long pause)

Me: “Are you ever scared?”

Mom: “Heavens no.”

Me: “That’s good.”

Mom: (*unintelligible)

Me: “Is it OK that I play ‘Dancing Queen’?”

Mom: (Says nothing)

(Plays “Dancing Queen”)

I hear her singing along inside the refrain. It is something that gets harder to do, but by God she does it.

She used to request this song a lot and I remember, too, her dancing with me joyfully to it while I was child. There were a lot of songs like that over the years. She was always so incredibly joyful w/music. I suppose a part of her still is.

We would being doing something not quite real enough to remember and she would stop everything (even inside moments of stress, like being late for example) She’d grab the dial and crank up the stereo and just swoop me, or take my hand to dance!

My father taught me to dance as a very young kid, too — and by my teens we could twirl and twist and do all the cool things. So it seems, my parents had this in common.

(Song ends)

Mom: Did you call me this morning?

Me: I did.

Mom: (Excited/happy) I heard you. I was doing (*unintelligible) down the street, but I figured it was you.

Me: I’m so glad.


Me: Don’t ever worry if you can’t catch it, you just know that’s me saying “hi” on my way to work.

Mom: (Very clearly) Good night sweetheart, I love you.

Me: Good- night, Mom.

Mom: (Coughs) Nurse?

Me: Do you want that I should call them?

Mom: Gure, thanks

Me: OK, good night, buddy.

Mom: Kitty, kitty, kitty. Do you have one or two?

Me: (Laughs) I have two.

Mom: Cut up a napkin,

Me: Oh.

Mom: Call you in the morning.

Me: I promise.

Mom: Hello?

Me: G’night , I love you.

Mom: Hangs up.

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