Connecting Across the Miles

January 16, 2023

By Amy Coward


Every morning, right after breakfast, my mother goes for a walk. She is 97 years of age, but you would never know it by looking at her. She walks about a half mile each day from her apartment to a nearby store and back. She does water aerobics and until just recently, she was the WII bowling champion of her apartment complex. She always says you must keep moving.

I’m a morning mover also. I’ve been running for about the past 10 years and have enjoyed starting my day running or sometimes walking. It’s good exercise but there’s also something about being outside, seeing the sky at dawn, hearing the birds, and feeling the stillness of the neighborhood.

My mother and I have talked about our walking routine a few times. Even though we live about 400 miles apart, I feel connected to her each morning when I’m outside. We’re both looking at the sky, seeing the day at its beginning, getting our thoughts together for the day. It’s a nice connection.

There are other ways my mother and I stay connected across the miles. Florida Gator football is one of them. On game day, we sometimes talk on the phone while the game is being played and discuss how things are going on the field. My mom has always been an avid Gator fan and sometimes, if the game is stressful, she vacuums her house to distract herself. I’ve come to do the same.

Handbells is another thing my mother and I have in common that we share (as much as possible) remotely. When my handbell choir plays, I’m send my mom the link to watch so we can talk about the music later. She loved playing the bells years ago and she knows how challenging it can be. I always want to hear her opinion on our performance.

There are many times I wish I lived closer so we could do more things in person-go to lunch, shop, visit family, and of course, go for walks. But I moved away from home years ago and this is just something we must deal with. We must wait for weekly calls to catch up and holidays to have a real visit.

When we do get together, we have long talks about family, raising children and things going on in the world. We haven’t found the solution for world peace or anything, unfortunately. In fact, we mostly just shake our heads in disbelief at all that’s going on in the world. We do have some nice conversations, though, and I’m grateful for that.

Until I get to Florida to see her, I’ll have to be content with my solo morning run or walk. At least I’ll know we’re both looking at the sky, seeing the day at its beginning and getting our thoughts together for the day.

It’s a nice connection.


Amy Coward is a public relations professional in Columbia, SC. When she is not managing her independent practice, she is writing, running, and traveling.