The Last Phone Call

Don’t put off important things

John P. Weiss
Personal Growth

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My friend and mentor Steve was dying of cancer, and I debated calling him one afternoon.

“I don’t want to intrude,” I said to my wife Nicole, a hospice nurse with much wisdom about life and death. “Being loving and thoughtful is not an intrusion. It’s a gift,” she told me.

So I picked up the phone and called.

It rang a few times, and part of me still wondered if I should leave him be. But then he answered and said, “Hello?”

I put the phone on speaker.

“Steve, it’s John and Nicole. We were thinking about you and wanted to say hello. What are you up to?” I said.

“Hey, you two. Let’s see, I was reading a memoir by a firefighter, and now I’m sitting outside on the patio with my beautiful wife, Sandy. It’s a lovely afternoon. We’ve been listening to the birds and watching the deer and turkeys in the woods.” Steve’s voice was less robust than usual, but he and Sandy sounded relaxed and upbeat.

We never asked about Steve’s health because sick people get tired of providing endless updates to family and friends. Instead, we reminisced, shared a few short stories, and laughed.

Steve was the police chief who hired me back in 1989, thus launching my law enforcement…

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John P. Weiss
Personal Growth

I write books, stories and essays about life, often illustrated with my photography and artwork. JohnPWeiss.com.