Friday, January 29, 2010

call me

Also posted on
Widow's Voice

I haven't called Jeff's number in almost two years. In the first few days after he died, I called him repeatedly....apologizing. Wishing I could have saved him. Begging him to come home.

His cell phone number is still programmed into the home phone and my cell phone. I will never be able to delete it. If it is on my phone, it seems that he is just a call away. Not too far.

Our home phone had a special ring programmed announcing that the caller was him. Some classical song that was exciting and uplifting. When I'd hear it, I would bolt from whatever task I was involved in and launch myself over children and furniture to catch it before voicemail took over. I haven't heard that ring in so very long.

One evening after putting the kids to bed, I felt compelled to phone him. To close the gap between us and pretend for just a moment that I could succeed with this seemingly small and mundane task of calling my husband.

I dialed the number and attempted to breathe as my heart leaped from my throat and down to my abdomen. It rang three times before the new owner of the number answered it. I waited to catch my composure and squeaked out, "Can I speak to Jeff, please?" She tersely coughed out, "Wrong number," and hung up.

I sat sobbing. He was gone. I couldn't bridge the gap. I couldn't reach him. After sometime, I managed to settle myself. I rolled over on my soaked pillow and stared at his dry one in the dark as I fell asleep.

At two am, I was jolted awake to the sound of an 'exciting and uplifting classical song' being belted from my telephone. I snatched the handset and stared at the call display. "Jeff" I thought I'd vomit as I answered....... Nothing. Silence. Dead air. He wasn't there.

But for one brief moment, I remembered how it felt to know he was out there. He was thinking of me. He was calling out for me....and he loved me.


Pamela said...

Sending some big fat love your way. This is very well written.

Cadi said...

I remember calling Brent's work phone, hoping he would pick up. Then I actually had someone record his voicemail announcement just so that I can always hear his voice. I suppose our unborn child will one day appreciate it, too. And I will always remember his sexy kiwi accent this way. :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't have any good words, but I wanted to let you know that I'm here and reading and thinking of you. And I'm sorry.

leigh in the sav said...

i'm sorry, jackie. it sucks. i think of you frequently and hope that you know how many of us keep you in our hearts.

Mama_Bear_Sarah said...

ugh, we went through this too. and by we i mean his sister and i. i waited a bit after he died to cancel the number ...however, i can't take it out of my contacts list. i won't. it's another piece of him i don't want to let go of. his sister called it and got the new guy. it was very hard on her.

i would send texts messages, apologizing, telling him i loved him and that i missed him. and i would hope that i'd get a miraculous response. but nothing.

thinking of you ...

Poppy and Mei said...


Patty said...

How very sad. I have a friend who recently lost his wife, he still has her facebook account open. He sends song request to her via facebook. Sometimes her friends (including me) go to her page and leave a message for her even though we know she isn't here to read it. Everyone deals with grief in there own time and way. The phone is your way, and it is ok to cry. Sending a hug to you and wishing you brighter days

Roads said...

That's a great story, Jackie.

I used to be able to play Jenny's voice on our old answering machine message, whenever I wanted to. I'd disabled the message for calls, but it was still stored in the flash memory of the machine somewhere.

It was comforting to hear her voice. Then after a few months, one day I pressed the wrong button and the message was gone for ever.

And I cried for hours then.