A Voice Mail Adventure..."Hi Gary, This Is Your Dad..."
As anyone who has ever dealt with sickness in the home can tell you, some things have to be necessarily back-burnered so that even more necessary things can get done. In the year before my dear late father, Robert Rice, passed away, and during the year following his passing, there have been any number of projects that have forced me to put many other day-to-day activities on hold.
Life is like that. Sometimes, the choices are ours to make, and sometimes, circumstances force the creation of a different set of priorities in our lives.
Anyway, way down there at the bottom of my list, was attending to my cell phone. Somehow, (being retired) I just got away from it, except for keeping it around in case I needed to make a call. Not keeping it on all the time, of course, people had tried to call, and eventually (and unknown to me) my mail box was full. Well, not long ago, a friend alerted me to the situation with my cell phone when he tried to call me, and was unable to leave a message. The thing was, I'd even forgotten how to retrieve my messages. After a call to the phone company, and resetting a new password, I was finally ready to hear the messages that had been stored.
Some of those had gone back quite awhile! There were a couple from a dear friend who has since passed away from cancer. There were a few of the usual nusance calls, of course. There were a number of calls from other friends that had all gone unanswered, and then, there were a couple of calls that began with "Hi Gary, this is your dad".
I guess that many others had used my cell phone line trying to call me, perhaps even more than I did calling out. I just had not used my cell phone that much, and thought that, (in any case) I had not given out my number all that often. Apparently, I was wrong.
I was able to return some of those calls to people who had left messages and express my profound apologies to them. For others, including Dad, it was too late to return their calls. Fortunately, in Dad's case, his messages simply were to tell me about other people calling me, or for other everyday reasons, and of course, he always told me that he loved me. I was seldom away from him for very long in those days, but I guess that even a ten minute trip to the store was a hard separation for him to endure. Most of the time, when I was away from him, I did remember to turn the phone on, but even so, there were those couple of messages from him that I missed, and those messages were precious memories indeed.
Life gives us new lessons every day, does it not? Sometimes, there are more than a few regrets, as well. It's tough to cover all the bases in life. All we can do, if we truly seek wisdom at all, is to learn from those lessons... and just somehow keep moving forward; with the increased awareness that there are always people reaching out to us, as we should be doing for them.