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Monday, January 26, 2015

No, it's not okay

The phone rang, I rolled over and blearily checked my phone. 6:52 am. I heard my brother rushing to answer it, aware that its insistent tone would force its way into my consciousness all too soon. He answered, I waited, and he hung up. Still sleepy, I went into the kitchen to pour a glass of water. "Who was it?" I asked. He told me. "Was it an emergency?" It wasn't, he said. The person had lost their phone and called our house number since they no longer had my brother's cell number.

I returned to my bedroom, typed and retyped a text until I was satisfied it conveyed my sentiment without being too emotional or too kind. It said, "Please call to our house number between 9 am and 9 pm, unless it's an emergency of life and death. Thank you." I hit send as my hands shook and my breathing rate slowed back to normal.

It took a good hour walk/jog for me to shake it off. Still musing, I checked my messages, the reply, "I am so sorry, please accept my apologies" evoked no emotion of sympathy. I was tired of people disrespecting the system; thinking that just because they had a thought right then and there that they should take care of it, regardless of the time or the situation.

It was another morning, several years ago. My mother answered the phone, there was hushed tones, then she was crying. My mother doesn't cry. The grief came from a deep deep place inside as the tears mixed with helplessness evoked an image of a little girl lost. Her father had just died.

It was not as if we didn't know. He had been ill for several years, cancer, and he'd fought it but it returned. Then it was his final days and then. . .his last breath. Only my Oma was with him when he left; jealous of her life-mate's final moments she refused to allow anyone else to enter the sacred space they shared. They understood each other in life and now, as death came, he no longer needed to speak for she understood his heart. 

Today, when the phone rings in the early morning or late at night, I lie in bed counting my breaths and waiting. Who will it be this time? Invariably it is some well-meaning yet thoughtless person who was not taught polite calling hours are between 9 am and 9 pm. Then I exhale and I try not to shake so hard. Today we've been granted another day of life.

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