Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Unexpected Phone Call

                                                                                          Sara Wilson photo
A couple of evenings ago my cell phone rang.
The caller ID said Gail Doell.
I thought- 
"Great- wonder what is up with Gail."
A voice answered my Hello, 
and said it was Gail's sister- Carolyn.
I thought- Oh no, this is probably not good.
The story unfolded that Gail had died in Mid-July.
Her sister was sorting through papers
 and found my business card.
She decided to give me a call to give me the news.
Carolyn knew a bit about the Valentine story.
                                                                                          Sara Wilson photo
Just two weeks ago, on July 22,
 we were home in Fort Wayne 
 visiting Grandma Denninger
 at Lutheran Life Villages. 
During a walking tour,
  a sudden thought 
flashed through my mind-
"on some visit I need to give Gail
 a call and try to meet her in person."
                                                                                          Sara Wilson photo
Carolyn shared that Gail had died on July 19.
She had come home very ill
 at the end of May this year.
Cancer took hold very quickly.
And in the last few weeks, 
a loving sister cared for Gail.
Neither sister ever married.
Carolyn said if either ever lamented the single life-
 they made a list of all the things 
they heard their married friends complain about.
Then they laughed and suddenly singleness 
looked pretty awesome.
Carolyn attended Concordia- River Forest.
Gail had spent the last few months
 in Arizona helping out the owner 
of the home park that she helped manage.
The aging owner was a full-time 
care-giver for his wife.
Then he died suddenly, 
and Gail was holding things together.
Gail was in her early 60's.
Same age as me.
And quickly-too quickly, 
the end of life loomed.
No more time for projects on the shelf,
to-do lists to finish, 
or conversations to share.
A blog post from over 3 years ago,
tied me to some vintage Valentines
 and Gail and Carolyn's grandmother- Evelyn Seidel.
A random find on the internet by their brother,
 led Gail to contact me.
We never met.
We talked by phone a couple of times.

A story to be told- 
simply because some kind of cosmos center
 was fulfilled with the connecting of two people.
A God-blessed phone call 
came from a sister,
 who took the time to contact a stranger-
 with the news of a life ended.
And as we said good-bye-
I put a new name on the the list 
of people to meet in this life- 
Carolyn- in Fort Wayne,
some day.


  1. Have you ever considered writing for Portals of Prayer? You have a way of touching hearts.

    1. that's interesting Judy...... that is a very concise way of writing......


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