“Information Please”

As I was going through my Notepad, looking
for different writings I have saved with the
idea of using them for my blog, I came across
this one.   I don’t know for sure where I found it
but someone probably sent it to me in an email.
Every time I read it tears come to my eyes, glad
of yet more confirmation that what the world
needs is ‘Love’ .

THE OLD PHONE ON THE WALL.
When I was a young boy, my father had one of the
first telephones in our neighborhood.. I remember
the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The
shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was
too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen
with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful
device lived an amazing person. Her name was
Information Please” and there was nothing she did not
know.  Information Please could supply anyone’s number
and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came
one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing
myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my
finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there
seemed no point in crying because there was no one home
to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger,
finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly,
I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the
landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor
and held it to my ear. “Information, please” I said into the
mouthpiece just above my head.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.

Information.”

I hurt my finger…” I wailed into the phone, the tears came
readily enough now that I had an audience.

Isn’t your mother home?” came the question.

Nobody’s home but me,” I blubbered.

Are you bleeding?” the voice asked.

No,”
I replied. “I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.”
Can you open the icebox?” she asked.

I said I could.

Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,”
said the voice..

After that, I called “Information Please” for everything..
I asked her for help with my geography, and she told
me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my
math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in
the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I
called, “Information Please,” and told her the sad story..
She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe
a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, “Why is it that
birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families,
only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage
?”

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly,
Wayne , always remember that there are other worlds to
sing in
.”

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, “Information Please.”
Information,” said in the now familiar voice. “How do I spell
fix
?” I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest .
When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to
Boston. I missed my friend very much. “Information Please
belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow
never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the
table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of
those childhood conversations never really left me..

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the
serene sense of security I had then.  I appreciated now how
patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time
on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down
in Seattle . I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent
15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now.
Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown
operator and said, “Information Please.”

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.
Information.”
I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying,
Could you please tell me how to spell fix?”
There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer,
I guess your finger must have healed by now.”

I laughed, “So it’s really you,” I said. “I wonder if you have any
idea how much you meant to me during that time
?”

I wonder,” she said, “if you know how much your call meant to me.
I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls
.”

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I
asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

Please do“, she said. “Just ask for Sally.”

Three months later I was back in Seattle .  A different voice
answered,  “Information.”
I asked for Sally..
Are you a friend?” she said.
Yes, a very old friend,” I answered.
I’m sorry to have to tell you this,”She said. “Sally had been
working part time the last few years because she was sick.
She died five weeks ago
.”
Before I could hang up, she said, “Wait a minute, did you
say your name was Wayne
?”
Yes.” I answered.
Well, Sally left a message for you..
She wrote it down in case you called.
Let me read it to you.”
The note said,
Tell him there are other worlds to sing in.
He’ll know what I mean
.”
I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others..
Whose life have you touched today?
Why not pass this on? I just did…..

Lifting you on eagle’s wings.
May you find the joy and peace you long for.

Life is a journey… NOT a guided tour.

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2 Responses to ““Information Please””

  1. Some readers just don’t understand, like my neighbor who couldn’t visualize the practical meaning of this section on your post “……” it gets me to look brighter after learning it.

  2. Patti says:

    Sorry, but I don’t know where you figured I wrote that in my post?
    “it gets me to look brighter after learning it”.

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