I replayed the message over and over again to make sure I’d heard it correctly.
“Hi, Teresa. I just wanted to tell you…my daddy died this morning. He was riding his bike and the Lord took him home with a massive heart attack. Just wanted you to know my mother is alone now.”
My dear friend, Bonnie, of over 30 years fought to hold the tears back. I felt her intense pain and the effort it took to verbalize those words. Our history went back to “BK” (before kids). Both of us continued to visit each other once or twice every year. Together, we had weathered teen uprisings, graduations, weddings, and various celebrations. We had worked together, but she now lived in another state.
My husband, Steve, and I had the privilege of staying overnight in her parent’s home on more than one occasion. One such time was while Bonnie and Rob’s house was being built. We made the journey to Pennsylvania just weeks after our baby #2, Amanda, was born. Our baby #1 son (just over a year old) tried to escape through their 2nd floor screen window in order to avoid napping. Even though his given name is Andrew, his nick name became “Little Houdini.” Over the years, Milton and Dolly offered their 2nd floor apartment to us to stay while other relatives were in town. Hospitality came naturally and we always felt like family in their presence. Milton died just the way he would have wanted: healthy and doing what he enjoyed.
When I heard Bonnie’s shaky words, my mind went to my own father. The same unpredictable event could happen any day to my own father.
Reality struck me—I needed to make more of a point to keep in touch with my dad. I picked up the phone and called my dad.