Before That Phone Call

You have no idea the impact you made on me today.   Truth be told, I don’t know, yet, the full impact you had on me today.

I’ve known of you for a very long time.  I’ve known you as difficult.  Angry.  Threatening.  Controlling.  Out of control.  Inappropriate.

When talking to you by phone I’ve had my hand in my hair, grasping it and ready to pull it out.

I have let slow rolling boils begin and bubble when I’ve been frustrated and exasperated and grasping at straws on what to do with you.  For you.  Because of you.

I’ve wished to not be the one to have to be involved with you.

I’ve been sad because of you.

I’ve been torn because of you.

I’ve been confounded and conflicted because of you.

I’ve been tested because of you.

And today-

I was overwhelmed because of you.

You took the time, in your grief, to contact me.  You told me that from the bottom of your heart you appreciated everything I did for you, how I treated you, how I tried with you, how I understood you.   You told me you made a promise, though you didn’t say who that promise was to,  to call and make apologies.

You said to me-

“I did everything right.

I did everything wrong.”

In those two sentences there was a summation and ownership of some very raw behaviors on your part.  You let me know that you recognized how you behaved, and for a very long time.  And for at least this moment, this very important moment, you know what the impact of your behaviors on others did to them.

And you apologized.

And you thanked me.

And you told me that how I treated you was appreciated.

And you told me to never stop what I’m doing, when often I’ve wondered, silently, how can I keep going.  And you repeated yourself as if you heard me and said please don’t stop what you’re doing.

Though I thanked you profoundly and sincerely-I still could not express to you the depth of my gratitude for you contacting me.  I can’t tell you because I still don’t know.   I hung up the phone from talking with you and was, quite honestly, stunned by our conversation.  If I would have had to guess who would call me and say something that has the potential to change me as a human being today…. I would never, ever, have guessed it to be you.

I can’t tell you that later when I was trying to tell someone else about this I had to stop talking because I was unexpectedly moved to tears trying to verbalize this….

I have a lesson to learn today.  The only problem is, I don’t know what it is.  I know there’s something I’m supposed to take away from what happened today.  It’s supposed to change my thinking.  My perspective.

And it has.

For all that happened before that phone call today.

For all that will happen because of that phone call today.

I thank you.

Impact-made.

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43 thoughts on “Before That Phone Call

  1. dogear6 says:

    Wow! For me, the lesson would be to not stop trying. You never know when it truly has helped someone.

    Nancy

    • Thank you Nancy. That is definitely one of the things swirling through my head. I cannot adequately explain what this call did/meant/was. It was never expected, but fully appreciated.

  2. niaaeryn says:

    Sounds like that was a beyond – words – great phone call. I am glad you got the call and the appreciation. This is like blessing news for a new day, positive stuff all round. Awesome! 🙂

  3. Wow. Simply, wow.
    I was carried along with your words, not realizing I was holding my breath until I read the final line and exhaled.
    Recognizing that there is a lesson or a purpose or a meaning but not being able to identify it and name it is something I can relate to.
    All we can do is remain open, then perhaps it will reveal itself to our accepting hearts.

    • Thank you Carolin. I like how you said this. If I remain open the full lesson will yet be revealed. Even though I recognize some of this, I feel like there is more. I will do my best to ready to ‘see’ it.

  4. jmgoyder says:

    Fantastic! I can also understand how strange this experience would be to process. Thank you for your wisdom here. I have reconciled with someone three times now but she still doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. Do I give up?

  5. Very poignant, heart touching, and wonderful. I’m so glad you received this phone call. I loved hearing about your reaction to it. 🙂

  6. ksbeth says:

    this gave me chills. it shows the power of words and human connection. a life can turn on a dime. hugs –

  7. markbialczak says:

    How great to discover that even when we’re so very right, we can be so very wrong, MBC. Oh, happy day. What a learning moment to discover that yes, all that effort did not go unnoticed and never assume it did.

    • You know I don’t every consciously think what I’m doing is not working, not really, I don’t think. But, I also never sit and think that what I am doing is making a difference. I just keep “doing” because it’s what I have to do. It’s probably a good thing I don’t think about it either way. I don’t want to start keeping score.

  8. Fulfilling and heartwarming to know someone appreciates what you’ve done to help them. Way to go, Colleen.<3 ❤ ❤

  9. Well, it sounds like someone went out of their wheelhouse to make a step in the right direction. It takes a big person to apologize. On my part, an apology is always accepted.

  10. mewhoami says:

    There is so much more to each of us than what others often see. I’m glad that you had the opportunity to see this side of them.

  11. reocochran says:

    Colleen, this was so sudden and out of the blue. I think this; I would have to process all the words spoken on thephone awhile (in my mind, heart and emotions.)
    Time to allow the huge change of the other’s heart. It filled you with joy and hope. We never do fully understand how we impact other’s lives. We may not know why there was such vitriol in the past and now regret. Take the moments. Good message with such powerful ramifications, my friend.

    • Thank you Robin. “Huge” change is so very accurate. I never would have guessed there was this kind of acknowledgement coming from this person. It is still taking time to process.

  12. Colleen, I was right there with you. What an extraordinary space to be in. How one conversation, mere words can impact us, I don’t fully understand. I do know words are powerful – they can empower or hurt. Sometimes the impact is from a least expected source and we have no idea what their turning point was… hats off to you my friend for taking it in and holding it. A wrong was made right.

    • Isn’t it a little mind blowing? To think that we can open our mouths and say a few words and make such an impact on someone else? And others, on us? It is power. So many abuse it. And so many make huge strides in other’s worlds by being uplifting and caring. Such power.

      And thank you. 🙂

  13. tric says:

    When you love someone you tolerate so much and always hope someday… I really hope this is that someday and it’s huge. I’m really happy for you and hopeful.

    • Sadly Tric, this is not what ‘we’ hope for. It is unrelated. After I posted it someone contacted me to see if it was the same as what you speak of, it isn’t. It is someone else and though I ‘wish’ it was ours, it is still a blessing for that person.

      Thank you for remembering, and caring. ❤

  14. You don’t know what and now I don’t know why this post brought tears to my eyes Colleen. ❤
    Diana xo

  15. Debra says:

    No wonder you’re tired and weary! You’ve had quite a week! I am absolutely certain you make an impact in the lives of others, and perhaps in particular in the clients you serve. And that you can acknowledge you also learn from those experiences is why you are so good at what you do, Colleen.

    • Thank you Debra. This call was so unexpected, I’m still surprised at ‘where’ it came from, and the sincerity within it. Maybe that does make me a little weary, thinking of all of the time to put in to another person’s life. Thank you for feeding my spirit !

  16. Ann Koplow says:

    I learned so much from this post! Many thanks, Colleen!

  17. April says:

    When our patience is tried and we’re busy wondering why someone can’t see the impact made on ourselves because we feel they aren’t paying attention, we never know that they are and that it takes a big gulp of humiliation to admit that to someone who has been hurt by their words and actions. Acknowledgement….I like that. 🙂

    • 🙂 Thank you April. There is a lot of courage and humiliation that can go along with apology. In this case, I’m still not sure, but I think the grief was putting them in a position of reflection. And the reaching out to me, and others, was something possibly….amazing.

  18. Mustang.Koji says:

    You, Chatter Master, are blessed to be one with a beautiful heart… What a moving post once again.

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