That’s all the caller said before hanging up. Mom thought it was Grandma calling and that she was too upset to say anything more than “Dad’s dead.” So Mom called my father, who rushed home from work. He must’ve had another stroke, they thought. Maybe he’s had a heart attack. They threw some things in a suitcase. It was a four hour drive to Pilot Rock.
I was little. I was staying with Grandma and Grandpa that week, sleeping on the sofa in the living room when there came an urgent knock-knock-knock-knock-knocking.
Grandma, rushed to the door, tying her robe around her flannel nightgown. She was flabbergasted when she peeked through the blinds and saw my parents standing there at ten o’clock at night.
“Well, for land’s sakes! What’s going on?” Mom and Dad came in, rumpled and red-eyed. Dad choked up, asking about Grandpa and the phone call. “Didn’t you call? Where’s Dad? Is Dad okay?”
Grandpa was in his pajamas, sitting on the edge of the bed when my parents went to his room. My father choked up; so happy to see his father alive.
They could laugh now. That long drive, for nothing! They all wondered if it had been a prank call or a mistake.
Maybe somebody’s grieving mother dialed a wrong number to report her husband’s death and maybe nobody showed up to comfort her.
The sad part for me: my week at Grandma’s was cut short by a couple of days so my parents wouldn’t have to make the drive again.
via Cause, Meet Effect.