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The gift of finding my mother’s voice

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By Daryn Kagan EBS Contributor

There was a time when this wouldn’t be so hard. Talking to my mom. Scratch that. Not so much talk, as hear her voice. That’s all I really wanted. I wanted to hear my mother’s voice. Not that anything was terribly wrong. Simply, it was Wednesday. We always talk on Wednesdays.

One of us calls the other and immediately says, “It’s Wednesday night!” as soon as the other picks up. This, by the way, is said whether it is Wednesday night or not. On Wednesday morning. Or Saturday afternoon. A little thing that connects me to my mom.

That’s all I wanted. And I knew I couldn’t have it. Mom has been gone over a year now. She’s not there to answer the phone. I’ve known that, so I have had my fall back—a few of her old voicemail messages.

“Hello, it’s your mother,” she announces as if I wouldn’t know her voice otherwise. And through the miracle of technology, this is possible. Pick up my phone. Click on voicemail. And scroll through until I get to the dates when she was still alive.

One click and there she is. That’s what I did Wednesday. Phone. Scroll. Look for Mom. Only, this time she wasn’t there. They weren’t there. The voicemail messages. They’re gone. “Surely, there is some mistake,” I told myself as I restarted my phone. Nope, they’re gone. That’s when I remembered. The guy at the Apple store who was helping me set up a buggy new phone.

“Are you sure everything on this phone is saved?”

“It is,” I said with great confidence.

Indeed, I did back up photos and other files to my laptop. Turns out, the backup didn’t include old voicemails. There are now no messages on my phone earlier than 2018.

“They’re gone. She’s gone,” I moaned.

I was sad for most of the day until I got distracted with a new possible professional opportunity. That’s when it happened. I heard my mother’s voice.

“So, what are you going to wear?” she asked as clearly as if I was holding the phone to my ear.

I smiled. At a promise come true.

Daryn Kagan was a featured speaker at TEDxBigSky 2018. She is the author of “Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts on Losing her Job, Finding Love, a New Career, and my Dog, Always my Dog,” and the founder of, a resource for uplifting and positive news.

The Outlaw Partners is a creative marketing, media and events company based in Big Sky, Montana.

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