You know how everyone gets random phone calls that aren't meant for them? It happens all the time and chances are its happened to you before. They could have simply dialed one wrong number or had a completely wrong number. It happens all the time. Anyways, when I was younger I use to be very rude to people who would call me randomly, I never had the patience to deal with them and I would usually do one of two things, chew them out or hang up on them.
About a year ago, I started getting calls from this lady in Florida who thought I was her Grandson. At first, I admit, I was irritated. Especially because of how many times she would call. I would always tell her that NO, I was not her Grandson and that she had the wrong number. She would be very apologetic and tell me how she just wanted to know how her Grandson was doing. After a while, I started getting the feeling that the old lady was alone and may have dementia or Alzheimer's because she always seemed surprised when I would tell her that I wasn't her Grandson and that she had the wrong number.
Now to provide you with a little background information, my Grandfather had Alzheimer's and I never met any of my other Grandparents, so there has always been that missing piece in my heart especially now seeing how much my nephews and nieces love spending time with their Grandparents. Because of this, I always have had a soft spot for the elderly and especially those with mind altering diseases. So, I made a conscious decision to start talking to this elderly lady and "pretended" to be her Grandson. She would call me asking me about how my life was going and I would tell her about my actual life. I would tell her how I was going to school to become a teacher, how excited I was when I graduated and started subbing. I told her my hopes, fears and desires. I told her more details about my life than I have ever shared with a complete stranger before. Sometimes we would just talk about life.
I told a couple of my close friends and family about this elderly lady but not many because to be honest, I didn't want to come off as a crazy person who was pretending to be someone I wasn't. Deep down I always looked forward to her calls and even when if I was busy, I would be sure to always answer and talk even if it was only briefly. Then about a couple months ago, the phone calls stopped. I was worried and had no way of reaching her since she always called from a restricted Florida number. The only information I knew was that her name was Beatrice. I assumed the worse and hoped in some small way I made a difference in her life.
Today, I received a phone call from a Florida number. It was from an orderly who identified themselves as an employee at Sutton Homes in Florida. I had no clue who this person was or why they were calling. I almost hung up on her to be honest. Then the girl said something that caught my attention, she said one name, Beatrice. She told me about this lovely elderly woman she had been taking care of for years. The woman would always talk to her about her Grandson and how proud she was of him becoming a teacher. She would say how she knew what an amazing teacher her Grandson would become. The orderly was confused about this because Beatrice had no living family, yet she would always call the same number and speak to a young man. It was then she told me that Beatrice had passed away at age 87 on Monday, July 16. She wanted to call and let me know how much my phone conversations meant to Beatrice over the years and how she always proudly spoke about her Grandson.
I sat there, stunned, as tears started pouring down my face. I never met this woman. I don't even know what she looked like. What started off as a joke, became something so much more that I looked forward to and in a way this lady took the place of my Grandparents I never was able to meet. I never was able to tell Beatrice that I got a job as a full time teacher. She would have been so proud, just like I know my own Grandparents would have been. There's still so much more I would like to share with her but can't now.
The moral of the story
I suppose is that you don't know how much you mean to the people in your life especially the random ones. Love with all of your heart and never hold back, but most importantly, never ever hang up when an elderly woman calls hoping to speak with her Grandson, it may just end up changing your life.
From Joshua Hertweck on Facebook