A Strange Phone Call
On December 12, 2013, I received a strange phone call. The gentleman on the other end of the line began by asking for me by name, and then requested that I not hang up on him until he had a chance to complete his story. I have to admit I was wondering what kind of telemarketer I was up against, but I let him have his say, as I could sense this was important to him and he seemed anxious that I might think he was some kind of quack. He started his story by telling me he was a police officer with the RCMP, and in 1960 he was stationed in Ituna, Sask.
I quickly pointed out that I was born in Ituna in 1960. He responded, “Yes, I know, I was the police officer on scene at the accident that killed your mother and older brother.” An awkwardly long silence followed as I processed what he’d said and thought about how to respond. He continued to tell me that his wife may have been the first face I saw as I was born.
I have always told people that my mother died before I was born. The reality of this is questionable, as the details were guarded to protect everyone involved—not only the adults who didn’t want to talk about it but also the children whose lives were forever changed by this horrible accident.
These kindness stories demonstrate the life-changing power of a single selfless act.