Do you frequently have a friend or family member whom you love, come into your mind and you think, ‘I should call so-in-so’ and then you don’t, but then the loved one calls you? It'd be good to call your friends often because chances are if you're thinking of them, they're thinking of you.
The other day I’d been thinking about Bernice, my friend in Fresno and because we hadn’t talked in several years I sort of was worried that maybe she was dead (you have to start thinking that way when your friends get old and Bernice is 84). She and I were friends from the church we were members of, and we remained friends after I moved to Washington 42 years ago. I’d been thinking about her for several days and had promised myself I’d call her before the day was over. Bernice is one of those senior citizens who hasn’t even dipped her toe into the 21st century as far as cell phones, Facebook, Google and such are concerned. I’ve tried to talk her into getting a smart phone or a computer but it was always like trying to talk a slug into running.
So back to the day when I talked to her; the phone rang and it went like this.
Ring, ring, ring?
“Hi Pam this is Bernice.”
“Oh, my goodness! I’ve been thinking about you and honest I was going to call you today! It’s sooo good to hear your voice!!!! HOW ARE YOU?!!!!!” (I was so delighted to hear her voice my energy level was up there as if she’d been raised from the dead.)
“I’m fine, how are you?” Bernice asked.
“Oh I’m fine, God I miss you! I love you so much, I hope you know!”
“Uh, thank you, I love you too (she seemed rather stilted in her response), uh, I just called to tell you that I can’t get off the farm, because of the snow up here in the hills.”
“Yeah do you have snow down there?”
Okay, this was getting weird! Was Bernice losing it? For one thing it’s rare for it to snow in Fresno and Bernice doesn’t live on a farm or up in the hills. She lives in Fresno where it’s as flat as a ballet dancer’s chest.
“Um, we got a little dusting today, but it’s not sticking.” I answered.
“Oh good, if it’s not snowing down on the flats, I can probably get your eggs to you tomorrow.”
“My eggs to me tomorrow? Oh dear, I thought you were my dear friend in California! You sound just like her and her name is Bernice too!”
We both started laughing as we thought back over our conversation. I apologized about my effusive behavior and she laughed and said she really enjoyed the love that poured all over her through the phone lines. We’ve never met, she leaves my eggs at Billy Jo’s beauty shop, Billy Jo calls me and I pick them up.
It got me to thinking, what if we were excited to see anyone just because they’re alive? When the UPS guy drops off a package and you run out and get it, what if you greeted him as if you loved him, not as a lover, just as a fellow human being who is bringing you a package. “HI, THANK YOU! I’M SO GLAD YOU CAME AND BROUGHT ME THIS PACKAGE! I LOVE YOUR UNIFORM AND YOU KEEP YOUR TRUCK SO CLEAN! TAKE CARE!! HAVE A GREAT DAY!
It wouldn't take long and we’d be tagged as nuts, but we sure could be a little more perky when we deal with people and with our family members. For all we know, it could be the last time we see them.
When I went into Billy Jo’s to pick up my eggs, she started giggling about Bernice. She said, “Bernice told me all about your conversation! She said it was a little disconcerting, but enjoyable at the same time.” Of course I had to re-enact the conversation and I had the whole beauty shop in stitches.
Just had to share!
P.S. I called "my" Bernice as soon as I hung up from "egg" Bernice and we had a glorious time catching up on each other's lives! Bernice knows me well and knows how passionate I can get with my love of my friends and she howled when I told her about "egg" Bernice! (This P.S. goes to the credit of Elizabeth who posted a comment this morning asking if I called Bernice, which I hadn't until now.)
I write for food ya know. Oh, and thank you to all of you who buy my books, I really appreciate it.