Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The other day I received a phone call from my mother informing me that my aunt’s mother passed. This is my uncle’s wife and she has been in my family for most of my life. Of course I was sad to hear the news. As death is inevitable, it’s always unexpected. My mother insisted that I remember to call her and offer my condolences. For a moment that thought seemed foreign to me…a phone call? Couldn’t I just send a text or email? (I know! That’s so bad, but hey…I am being honest here people!) I hadn’t talked to her since Christmas and surely she would be too overwhelmed with grief after the passing of her mother. How was I going to handle that? I don’t do well in these types of situations. But I also knew a very valuable piece of information that my mother told me: “When people are grieving they feel special when you reach out to them and let them know you are thinking about them. It’s not about you, it’s about them.” So, I did. My aunt answered the phone in her regular upbeat voice. I said, “Hello Martha, this is Tinesha calling to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers during this time. “ Then I paused for a moment not knowing what to expect. She responded with “Thank you so much for calling. I appreciate you thinking of me.” We continued with small talk but during the conversation, something amazing happened. My aunt was so warm and kind during that conversation. She made me feel like she was genuinely excited and happy to hear from me. She asked about my recent relocation and made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. I felt like I was the one on the receiving end of the call instead of her. And I learned a very valuable lesson. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that matter the most. We live in a world so consumed with social media and impersonal communication that we forget that a simple phone call or hand written letter could brighten up someone’s day in a way unimaginable. With local post offices downsizing, it’s obvious that people are cutting back on personal letters, cards and written communication. And even though according to Wikipedia 87.4% of Americans own a cell phone most of the charges relating to them are….you guessed it, text related! So, do yourself a favor….make a phone call. It may just make YOU feel better.