By Cheryl Demas
It used to be so difficult to communicate with my oldest daughter. She was always out and about, coming and going to school and activities. We could barely keep track of her. So we got her a cell phone to ease our communication problems. It used to be difficult to talk to her now it's impossible.

I can't reach my daughter on her cell phone, but I can reach all her friends.

"Hello, Nicki?"
"No, this is Molly."
"I'm sorry. I must have called the wrong number."
"No, this is Nicole's phone. I'm just borrowing it to call my mom."
"Do you know where Nicole is?"
"No, I got her phone from Tiff. She got it from Laura, who got it from Sam."
"I thought Sam had her own phone"
"Oh, yeah, she does. But Nicole was using it. Um, I need to make my call now, okay?"

On the other hand, my little girl is always talking to me. Although she has never spoken a single word to me without first reciting:
"Mom Mom Mom Mom until I say, "Yes?"
"Do you know what?"
and then she waits for me to say, "What?"
After all that (if she's remembered what she first came to tell me) she begins her story.

I love it that she so willingly shares her thoughts with me, and I occasionally have to remind myself that whatever she's telling me is important to her. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my work, trying to get everything done at once, that I need to stop what I'm doing and really listen. I know it won't be long before I descend from the mountain of "My mom knows everything" into the valley of "My mom is driving me crazy!" I know these days will pass all too quickly, and I'll be wishing I could hear "Mom Mom Mom Mom" again.

I remember the things my own mom said that drove me crazy. I remember the way she would wait up for me at night. When she finally heard the door open, she would call out from her bedroom, "Is that you?"

"Yeah, Mom, I'm home."

It drove me crazy. Can you name one person in the world who could answer no to that question? "Is that you" Who else could it be?

Now, though, I think back on those days and I can identify with my mother. In fact, sometimes I think I'm channeling her. Her words come out of my mouth before I even realize what I'm saying.

The mother of a dear friend of mine passed away unexpectedly. When I called my friend, she was going over and over her last conversation with her mother.

"I'm pretty sure I said, 'I love you' when I said good-bye, but I'm not sure," she said.

She so wanted to know that those were the last words that had passed between them.

But as mothers we know that we say, "I love you" in many ways, from "Be careful" to "What do you see in him?" and, yes, even in "Is that you?" I'm sure their last words to each other were "I love you," spoken or not.

And what I would give now to hear my mom call out, "Is that you?" when I walk in the front door of my home. In fact, my vision of heaven is that when I open those pearly gates, I'll hear my mom call out

"Is that you?"

And I'll say, "Yeah, Mom, I'm home."

One last time.

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