Streamline - Spring 2015 - (Page 35)
BY MICHAEL JOHNSON
Call Me Anytime
I WOULD USE the word "elegant" to describe her. That's what I was thinking as she approached. Smartly
dressed and attractive, the word "competent" came to mind. She said, "I know you are about to go on stage
for the teachers, but I just wanted to tell you I met your wife earlier." She pointed over in the direction of
Sherry. "She is delightful. She has joy in her spirit." She stood looking at Sherry for a moment, and then
she said, "Even though it was only for a short time, it helped me to meet her today."
"Thank you for the kind words," I said.
"She is a blessing."
After the presentation, Sherry was
working the book table and as I finished signing books, I became aware
the woman had been standing nearby
for some tisme. "Did you need me for
something?" I asked her.
"Yes," she said, with the same bright
smile and that same elegance. "I wanted
to ask you a question." She paused for a
moment, looked down, and then raised
her eyes to mine. The smile was gone.
"I lost my husband two years ago,"
she said. "He passed away ... suddenly ...
Another pause. Still looking down, she
said, "I've been fighting ... but I'm losing.
I can't get untracked. I'm afraid the grief
is going to devour me." And she stopped.
The world changed. One minute we're
laughing and talking, the next I felt like
I was in one of those movies where the
camera does a 360 degree circle around
two people and no one else is in the room.
"What is your question of me?" I asked,
stalling for time, praying I could think of
something to say.
She looked up at me. I could see her
eyes glistening, and she said, "People do
get over things like this. Don't they?"
"Yes, they do," I said.
"Do you think I should see a psychiatrist, or a psychologist, or a Christian
counselor perhaps? I haven't done that."
"If you do," I said, "it must be someone
who has lived through that ordeal and
come out on the other side - someone
who has found new reasons to live. I can
tell you that 'I understand how you feel,'
but if I haven't lived what you're going
through, I don't have a clue how you feel."
"Where on earth am I going to find
someone like that?" she asked with desperation in her voice.
"You already have," I said.
"What?" she asked. "What on earth
are you talking about?"
"You already have found someone like
that," I said, and I pointed over to my wife.
She looked at Sherry. Her eyes widened. She put her hand over her mouth.
"Her?" she said.
"Yes, her," I said. "She was married to
a fighter pilot. He flew off on a mission
in Vietnam and never returned. She was
22 years old."
"How did she survive that?" she asked.
"I don't know," I said. "Let's go
Sherry was putting the books in boxes
with her back to us. As we were the only
ones in the room, it was safe to talk.
"Dear, you remember Jane you met earlier?" I said.
Sherry turned and said, "Certainly."
"You remember the trial you lived
through we talk about sometime?" I
She stared at me for a time, eyes blank
- hiding the memory from the world.
"Yes," she said without emotion.
"Well, it seems Jane is having that same
experience. It happened some two years
ago now. I was just thinking maybe it
might be helpful if you two talked on the
phone some time?"
Same blank look. Then she said, "Yes." I
wondered if I had over-stepped my bounds
here, but then she turned away and after
retrieving a bookmark, wrote something on
it. She handed it to the woman. "My phone
number," she said - with a little smile.
The woman looked at the number and
said, "These three digits after the number
... 247 ... is that your extension?"
"No," said Sherry, "it's not 247 ... those
are my hours of availability if you ever
want to talk, I'll be there 24/7."
What the world needs now is love ...
and hope. When someone is in trouble
and you say, "Call me anytime," love and
hope come into the world.
w w w . v r w a . o r g 35 PM
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2015
From the President: Power Failure
From the Executive Director: Highlights from 2014
The Sustainability Managed Utility
Communication… Say What?
Flushing Away the Ebola Threat
Hazard Communication Standards – Guidelines for OSHA Compliance
State Water Control Board Approves Controversial Permit
VRWA Said Goodbye to Past Executive Director
USDA Rural Development
The RATES Program
Adequate Rates versus Affordability
Debt Refinancing: An Alternate Source of Capital
How the Cloud is Revolutionizing the Future of Water Utility Management
Southern Corrosion Supports Victory Junction
Throwing My Loop: Call Me Anytime
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
Board of Directors
Index to Advertisers/ Ad.com
Streamline - Spring 2015