Power Love

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21 January 2010


The call came from Collingsworth, NJ. I know this because my voicemail at work goes straight to my computer and it tells me all kinds of details: where the call originated from, where it traveled as it transferred around the office, how long the message lasts. This call came directly to me and it lasted 32 seconds.

“Chris, this is Delores. It’s about 1:30 on Wednesday afternoon. Could you please call me tonight? I need…I need...I need someone to read at mass for your father. Will you please do it? Please call.”

My name is not Chris. My mom’s name is not Delores. My dad isn’t having a mass for him, as far as I know. I called Delores back.

“Hello?” She said.
“Hello, may I speak to Delores please?”
“Who’s this?”
“My name is Kim Morris, I—”
“Hold on. I have to switch phones. I can’t hear you. Hold on.”
“It’s going to sound like I’m hanging up on you because you’re going to hear a click, but I’m not. I’m just switching phones. I can’t hear you. Hold on.”
“Hello, is this Delores?”
“Yes. Who are you?”
“I’m Kim Morris—”
“Kim Morris, I—”
“Kim who?”
“I don’t know you.”
“No, but it looks like you may have left a message on my voicemail that was intended for someone else and I just thought you might want to know…it sounded…important, and I just wanted you to know—”
“Where are you calling from?”
“Chicago? Not upstate New York? I was trying to reach upstate New York.”
“No, I’m in Chicago.”
“What’s your number there?”
I told her. She told me the number she was trying to reach was one number off from mine.
“Funny, isn’t it?” I said. “One number off, but still half the country away.”
“My husband just died.”
“Oh…oh, I’m so sorry, are you—”
“We need someone to read for his service at church.”
“I’m so sorry. I’m just so…”
“Thank you for calling to let me know.”
“OK—if there’s anything, I mean—”

But she had already hung up.