Sunday, June 13, 2010

Late Night Phone Calls

I experienced a few terrific days, after all, Dave Hingsburger was in Butler again and his words always inspire and reinvigorate! It was a terrific couple of days, filled with bustling activity and excitement, but afterward, something happened that shook me a little...details are not important. I spent Friday evening in my head, judging selfishness, power and control. I was ruminating, milling it over and over again. As I'm sure you know, this is not a good place to be.

Suddenly, on Friday night as I was watching a movie with the kids, the phone rang. I was startled, as it was my work cell phone, it rarely rings, especially this late. I didn't recognize the number but answered. It was a wrong number. Now one would expect that when a person gets such a call, the conversation is brief. I however, ended up on the phone with Delores for about 30 minutes. Delores is an older woman, having health problems and difficulty seeing. When she realized she had a wrong number, she became frustrated and started to cry. She explained that she was trying to call her grandson, but couldn't see the numbers to get it right. I tried to help her figure out what numbers were the right ones, and then she shared stories from her life. After 30 minutes, she sounded less frustrated and suddenly apologized for keeping me so long, I said it was Ok, I didn't mind at all. So, Friday night, I went to bed thinking of Delores, her life, her current frustration, her kindness...I had forgotten why I was so tense earlier.

Saturday came and it was busy. By Saturday evening, I was once again ruminating on the negative, worrying about what to do and what others do. I couldn't concentrate on the movie James had brought home. At about 10:15, my cell phone rang again. Once again I was startled and didn't recognize the number, but answered. Once again it was Delores. "Oh my, I called you yesterday didn't I? I'm so sorry, I just can't read these numbers!" She started crying. Again we spoke for a while, this time she told me about her husband the fireman, her adopted son and her grandson. She told me about her medical appointments coming up and her recent stay in the hospital. She told me about her frustration at not being able to do for herself at 84 years old. She also told me about all the kindness that surrounded her. The nurses who helped her during the day, the neighbors who go to the store for her, the "angels" she said she was fortunate to have around her. She included me in her list of "angels", because I didn't angry when she dialed the wrong number and I talked to her. She spoke of the importance of kindness and doing for others and how this was how she always lived her life, so she felt that in her hour of need she was being repaid....
Somehow, by the time I got off the phone I had her address and she was hoping I would visit. Once again, by the time I hung up, I forgot what I was worrying over.

While, Delores called me an angel, I think for the past two nights she has been mine, magically calling when I needed it most and allowing me to share kindness with a stranger. She has reminded me of my favorite lesson, that of giving to others. When we give selflessly, we forget the "self" but meet so many of our needs in the process. Delores and I have given to each other, I hope she calls again tonight....