As I came home from picking the kids up from school yesterday, Jason said that someone called on our home phone and he thought they left a voice mail because the phone said “New Voice Mail.” (To which I should probably note, I think the phone always says this. To the point I thought it was the default setting. Don’t all phones always say “New Voice Mail” on them??) This being our busy week with lots of appointments, I felt sure the voicemail was just a reminder.
On a side note, God bless those phone calls and text reminders. I would completely forget half of the things I’m supposed to do if it wasn’t for those! Blame it on chemo brain absolutely stealing my short term memory (that’s a whole other post) or being 41 with two kids and busy lives (that’s a whole other blog!), but regardless, I am so grateful for those reminders!
Anywho… I picked up the phone, dialed our voicemail and the lovely feminine robotic voice announced “You have forty-five new messages.” Wait, I have how many messages?? How in the hell did that happen? So I cleared my calendar and spent the next fifteen minutes catching up on messages.
As I start listening to our messages, the first new message was from December 11 of last year. One week after I was diagnosed. Oh my God, that’s how you have 45 new voice mail messages: cancer. Fear quickly flickers in the background and I don’t know if I can do this. I just don’t know if I can listen to these messages right now. But resolve kicks in and I really needed to hear that last message, so I take a deep breath and press “1” to listen.
As I’m listening, there are some messages from family and sweet friends with a lot of love and concern in their voices. Those were the hardest to hear. Because it put me temporarily in their shoes. And I can. not. fathom. how worried I would be if it was one of y’all. Just wanting to check in and send love and hear your voice. As I listened to each one, it was with the knowledge that at the time of each of those messages, I was on the other side of that phone call either at the infusion center or not feeling good enough to even answer the phone.
Some of the messages were telemarketers. One was a scam claiming to be from the IRS. Cause you know the IRS really does call you with garbled messages. Grrrr… But most were really sweet. And as I listened from December through April (when chemo was complete and I had surgery), everybody’s tone of voice had changed. Everyone sounded less sad, still worried, but hopeful. And those messages from April through October were awesome. Those were regular phone calls from friends and family. And their voices were filled with hope and a whole lot less worry.
I’m glad I did it. That I listened to them all. Because I realized that walk down memory lane of last year wasn’t so bad. Yes, it was a rough year, but there was so much love sprinkled on it that I think my heart grew a size just remembering. So y’all. Thank you. Thank you for being there for me and all of us. Thank you for your sweet, sweet, sweet messages filled with so much love.
And to my family and friends, the IRS, several of my doctors, all the telemarketers – I’m sorry I missed your calls. But in a weird way, I’m really glad that I heard them when I did. A bit more perspective on all of the love and a lot of encouragement that I don’t need to be fearful of things. Just dive in and see what comes up. Sometimes you find a little bit of magic in the form of a voicemail.
Much love (and check your messages!)
I love reading your stories, you should really write a book. Thank you for your inspiration!!!