(This was written some years ago.)
My dad called me Saturday morning with my mom in the background. We discussed the weather (they being in New York and I'm in Florida). We discussed that I worked last night, some maintenance issue where I live and my mom's health. She was on pain killer and took a sleeping pill and later fell, bruising her wrist and hitting her head. My father, who is attentive to my mother, was concerned and hoped she had no head injury. This week they'll see a doctor. Right now she seems okay. Lost her balance. I wished them a happy 65th anniversary which was coming up. We both agreed my coming up now would be difficult. Coming up later would be better.
The conversation was trailing off. It was good to hear my father's voice. Felt like home. I always wonder if I'm doing the right thing by not being closer, but finances and just survival dictate I can't, although I'm not sure and I hope I don't regret this. His voice was home and I think my voice was home for them. In this big, lonely world, there was comfort this. Often I don't acknowledge the emptiness and estrangement I feel. People, even nice people, are strangers to some extent. Family, even a family that's had its difficulties, after time has gone by, can offer some comfort, warmth, security and belonging. I had forgotten how much I missed it until this reminder came.