Dearest Rachel –
This is why I answer the phone, regardless of whether i recognize the number or not. You just never know…
This afternoon, the phone rang, and while the number didn’t look familiar, it was a Chicago number, so it wasn’t as if it was from just anywhere. To be sure, I did answer with my usual snark, “Hello, Lori,” as if the mayor herself had called me, “what can I do for you?”
Obviously, it wasn’t Mayor Lightfoot on the other end; did you really think it would be?
As it so happened – and while I wouldn’t say this is the last person I’d have expected to call me, she definitely would not have been on my short list – it was Andi. Yup, that Andi.
Now, while I’ve spoken to her and Al since the accident (I had to try to find a copy of ‘Days Like This’ for your memorial service, for one thing, since it really did serve as a description of what our marriage was like, more often than not), I really haven’t been keeping in touch with them since. But for whatever reason, she said she felt led to call and find out how I was doing.
I filled her in on the things I’ve been trying to do this past year, both to commemorate you as well as to fill the void you’ve left. Basically, the barest highlights of the things I’ve written to you about.
It would seem that – while I don’t want to go into too much detail, since it’s her story to tell, and not mine – she’s been going through much of what you were dealing with throughout the past few years, as it so happens. It is challenging when the roles between parent and child are reversed – and it’s so much more so when you’re a state or two over from them. If it weren’t for these long drives, she remarked, she’d never be able to make personal phone calls any more.
But for whatever reason, she thought to give me a call to see how I was doing.
Now, it isn’t as if it was just the thing I needed at that moment, like so many stories might suggest. Life isn’t as neat as all that; even the call itself wound up getting dropped mid-sentence, as the road she was driving through was surrounded by those soundproof barriers you might recall on certain stretches of interstate. But it was nice to hear from her, even if neither of us had any great insight to offer the other on our various painful (for now) journeys.
At least, it’s just another reminder not to dismiss the call when it comes. Sure, it’s not something expected, but surprises may not be all that bad after all.
Talk to you later, honey. Keep an eye out for me.