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Friday, February 9, 2018

A Call



For about the first third of my life I was single. I met and married Kim late when we both landed on the same high school campus in California, even though both of us were from Wisconsin and I went to a co-ed boarding school maybe ten miles from her hometown. Weird coincidence, huh?

But even into my twenties and early thirties, I’d go visit my mom and as I was about to leave and after our goodbyes, she’d stop me and say, “When you get home, call me so I know you got home safely.” It never failed. Every time, every visit, no matter how old I was. And it didn’t matter when I got married, either. Or if I was a young parent. Mom would always ask me to call her when I got home just to let her know I was safe.

Back then, I didn’t understand the request. I mean after all, I was a ‘grown up’ and had a job and was responsible. Of course I would get home safely! Why was she worried about that?

And then I had my own kids. Those of you who have teenage drivers understand completely, don’t you? Each and every time they get in the car . . . Those who have a car and are away at college . . .

I had a two minute conversation with Lynne whose daughter is heading to Italy. Her daughter saved up the money and is traveling with friends. But Lynne is a parent and she will worry. Heck, she’s beginning to worry a little now and her daughter hasn’t left yet. All because we’re parents and our kids are our kids. We will worry.

When Emily was twelve or so, her soccer team traveled to Europe. In Sweden, Emily went with a group of players and the coaches to get something to eat and do some shopping. While shopping, Em turned around and the rest of the team had left. She figured they might be in a store next door. They weren’t. She walked up and down the street and couldn’t find them. She didn’t have the name of the hotel, but knew it was the big yellow one. She didn’t speak Swedish. She was twelve, did I mention that? She went back into the store and got directions to the big yellow hotel and walked back to it. The really scary part was that the rest of the team and the coaches hadn’t figured out she was even missing. All of this was relayed to us via phone – Emily in Sweden while Kim and I were in Stafford County, Virginia.

And then, I’m sure all of us at one time or another received calls we don’t enjoy and calls we never want to receive. There was a time Kim and I dreaded the early morning phone call around five or six. It was usually my sister, Judy, who would inform us that one family member or another had passed away. Hated the ringing of the phone in the morning. And it was a late night phone call Kim and I received informing us that our son, Wil, had been shot and killed as he had walked down a street after eating lunch and running some errands.

So as parents, and even those who aren’t parents but hold someone near and dear make and receive calls. Whether we understand it or not, whether we like it or not.

No matter how old I was, mom wanted a phone call to let her know I arrived home safe and sound. And, no matter how old Emily and Hannah are or will be, I want a phone call letting me know they are safe and sound.

Today’s thought (as if there wasn’t one already, right?) . . .

I’m stealing this idea from Dale, a friend of ours who spoke at the reception following our son’s memorial service, the celebration of Wil’s life.

Dale talked about how often we put off making a phone call, or put off sending a text, or put off writing a letter or small note until it’s too late.

Once a moment passes, it might be gone for good. Over and done. What Dale had us do right then and there was to take out our cell phones and text someone. It didn’t have to be long. It could be funny. It could be loving and sentimental. No matter, Dale said we needed to take out our cell phone and do it right now while we were thinking of it.

On that day as I was following his suggestions and texting away, my cell dinged. I had received a text from my brother, Jim, who sat at a table not far from where I had been sitting. I still remember what he wrote and how much it meant to me especially at that time, in that moment.

So I ask you today, right now, in the middle of doing whatever you’re doing, to please take out your cell and either text someone or call someone. Let them know you are and have been thinking about them. It’s important because there are those of us reading this right now who understand that moments can vanish before we even know it, before another moment comes along. Gone. I ask you to please consider doing this right now . . . and again . . . and again. Blame it on the silly old man who wrote this post. It will help you and it will help whomever you call or text. I can absolutely guarantee it. With love, something to truly think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

My fifth work of thriller/suspense fiction Caught in a Web is now available for preorder at http://bit.ly/2GtdsXL . If you purchase your book prior to the publication date of April 26, 2018, you may use the promo code: PREORDER2018 to receive a 10% discount.

You might ask, what is it about? Here is the jacket blurb:

The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer.

Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family. The three detectives discover the ring has its roots in a high school among the students and staff.

Please feel free to connect with me at:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Lewis.Author                                              

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe