I think I did my pay it forward thing tonight.
This older (based on her voice) woman has been calling me on my cell for the past month. I think the first time I missed the call and called back.
When I said, "Hello! You called me?” she said, "I don't know you", and that was that!
Then about once a week she continued to call. I picked up and she said "Mary?". The first couple of times I just said, "No Mary here. You must have the wrong number", and she would apologize and hang up.
Just a few days ago I was getting a bit annoyed and said, "It will always be me at this number. Maybe you need to send Mary a note to get a new number.” She agreed and I thought that is it.
Tonight Jean called yet again.
I give her this. She is persistent.
So, being in a charitable mood (!!) I said "Perhaps I need to help you find the correct number."
Jean was SO thrilled.
So as I went through a few searches for Mary, Jean opens up to her new best friend and tells me how she was/is in the hospital in East Hartford after suffering a blood clot (I translate "stroke"). She feels she hasn't forgotten much, but maybe a few things. Hmm!
After five attempts I find a site that shows a land line, although Jean says Mary no longer has one and is only mobile. But the name and address and age are a match and so I CALL Mary at that number that is ONE NUMERAL different than mine.
Jean audibly giggles.
Well it isn't a totally happy ending yet.
I have my land line on speaker and the cell phone on speaker when the answering machine picks up.
And so I leave this very loud and clear message with names and phone numbers and how Jean is really looking forward to hearing from Mary, and I hang up.
Jean is just so relieved that you can hear her smile.
She promises to let me know what happens and that she really owes me.
I wonder if she will remember!
I started this as a Face Book post and it just got so long that I decided to finally get back to the blog.
Some of my past year has been staying with my mom who had a revision (replacement) of one of her hip replacements one year ago this week. It’s been a rough, rough year, especially for her. Because she is far away, I count on the staff at her place to help her a lot. I thought about Jean after I hung up and perhaps her frustration of trying to find her friend. My mother has not been able to handle the phone as well as she used to, and I know she’d like to talk to her friends more, but it’s just not that easy anymore, and I know she also gets frustrated.
I didn't think this far ahead as it was happening, but I hope what I did for Jean works out and that we all do something for a stranger once in a while just because we can. No pay back - or forward!