Some people have an amazing sense of direction. Without a landmark (mountains, ocean, buildings) to gauge their whereabouts, they possess an internal compass. They relish the adventure of finding new places, not quite sure where to turn next, but confident that their destination is patiently waiting for them to arrive.
Others can’t find a place they have been to ten times with a map, directions, and a GPS. (My husband would prefer I not divulge which one describes him here)
On this particular Saturday morning, I know exactly where to go. This is my second visit in four months and I have visualized the road and our journey many times before today. I am behind the wheel of the shiny silver Camaro my daughter Joni Rose insisted we rent to drive the scenic miles ahead. We are excitedly on our way to the Oregon coast…or so I think. My aunt Judy is going to meet us at her beach house later, as Joni and I have a little boutique shopping to do first.
I can’t wait to show my oldest daughter the breath-taking green forests, foggy cliffs and crashing surf of the Northwest Pacific. I follow the winding road from Judy's house through the trees, down the hill and turn onto the main road to begin our adventure. Joni and I are talking and all of a sudden I realize…I AM LOST!
None of the roads look familiar and the way I have mapped in my mind is very wrong! At first I feel stupid, as this is shocking to my directional superiority (yeah, I’m that one) and then I get anxious. I have NO idea where to go and it throws me into a slight panic. Joni is trying to be calm (we have no map) and I am wracking my brain trying to remember how I got the directions so wrong, how I could have made this mistake, and what the hell I should do next.
In that moment, my cell phone rings….it is Judy. “Angie, are you okay?” she says sounding slightly worried. “No, I’m not. “I am quite lost” I tell her. “What?” She is surprised. “I have no idea where I am and which way to go!” I confess.
As she calmly talks me through my navigational faux pas (I was headed in the exact opposite direction), the scenery starts to look familiar again. Joni whispers over our conversation, “Why did SHE call? I look confused. “Why did SHE call US?” I ask Judy, and she says something about the last gas station before Florence. I look down. The gauge reads half a tank, and my heart has stopped pounding. ”See you at the beach” Judy says and the call is over.
“Don’t you think that was strange?” Joni asks. “Why did she call at that exact moment? And how did she know we were lost”?
Later, at the beach house, I ask Judy about it. She tells me that she doesn’t really know what made her call; she just felt that something wasn’t right, and she dialed my cell phone instinctively. She said her first thought was, “This is stupid…they just barely left. “And”, she said “Angie will think I am being a Mother Hen”.
Her words pierce something inside me, and I blink back tears. It is a sign.
Throughout my life, I’ve had many days of feeling lost and alone. How often my phone would ring with my Mother on the other end. She would explain she had been thinking about me and somehow sensed I was struggling and maybe needed someone to talk to. It felt like she was tuned in to my soul.
I stand in Judy’s kitchen wondering if it is possible that Mom somehow transferred her loving intuition to the one woman in my life she knew would carry on for her.
A mother hen? Surely she knows how much I still need one.