Sunday, April 15, 2007

Maybe Dad's Finding Ways to Say Hi?

Example #1: The Phone Rings
The day after my father died, my mom and I were sorting out some things in the kitchen, and I came across a piece of paper written by my father's hand. It said "Bob Newman"--a name unfamiliar to me--and a phone number. I held it up and was just about to ask my mom if this was something to keep, when the phone rang, interrupting me.

I picked it up. The person on the other end said, "Hi, is Bob Newman there?"

I looked down at the piece of paper in my hand, eyeing my father's familiar scrawl. "Bob Newman" it said in Dad's loopy blue ink. And now someone on the other end of the phone was asking for that very name, at the very moment I was about to ask my mom who Bob Newman was.

"You're not going to believe this," I said, "but I'm holding a piece of paper in my hand with the name Bob Newman on it. Who is this?"

"This is Jim," said the male voice. "I'm in Bob's poker group."

"My dad, Don Evans, was in a poker group."

"Yes, that's the same group," he said.

"You called his home."

"Don Evans? Your father? Oh, I'm so sorry. I just heard he passed away."

I asked him what number he was calling. He said the number. It turns out that my father's number was accidentally listed as Bob Newman's on the Poker Group phone sheet. I just can't get over the fact that at the very instant I was holding a piece of paper with Bob Newman's phone number written in my father's handwriting that the phone would ring, with someone asking for Bob Newman.

Example #2: Goulash
After the funeral, when Annie and I were back home, our friends Lisa and Marissa asked if they could come by and bring us dinner. A very sweet, compassionate gesture given all we'd been going through. Besides, we love to hang out with them and talk about life. They came through the door carrying a wonderful-smelling pot of something and bags of other items.

"Wow, smells great!" I said. "What's for dinner?"

"Hungarian goulash," Lisa said.

"Did you know my dad was Hungarian?"

Lisa and Marissa looked at me. "We had no idea."

And so...
...there you go. Hi Dad. I miss you.
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