January 21, 2000.
A date that makes me sad.
But also the date of one of the most inexplicable and amazing events that has ever happened to me and I didn’t even realize it until a few months later.
It was cold that night. (Hell, is that even worth mentioning? I live in Minnesota and it was January…it’s kind of a given that it was cold.) My dad’s car skidded on ice as we drove home from the hospital. We pulled up to our house and I got out of the car quickly as my parents just sat there gazed at my brother’s car sitting in front of them in the driveway as if he hadn’t passed away several hours earlier.
I walked inside, up the stairs and greeted my bulldog Champ who was laying at the top waiting for my brother to come back and play with him. I stood in the room and stared at everything. It felt weird to be there. The living room looked weird. The couch looked weird. It all looked normal. Untouched. I expected everything to look different, to be different, because my life had just been altered in such a drastic gut wrenching way.
I shook that feeling and grabbed the phone and headed to my room before anyone else came inside. As I sat down on my bed I took a piece of paper out of my wallet that my friend had given me a few months earlier before he left for college in Florida. The paper had two numbers on it. One was his floor number in Florida, the other was his parents’ new phone number because they had moved to a new house right as he had left for college.
I checked the time, it was 11PM on my clock, which meant it was midnight where he was and I knew no one would be answering their floor phone.
I dialed the number that was written down for his parents new house and when his mom answered I began to cry. I told her what had happened and she comforted me and then told me that she’d have (my friend) call me in the morning.
9 AM the next morning I woke up in a fog. My face was swollen from crying and my entire body hurt from grief and the fact that my bulldog had a thing for sleeping on my legs every night and my mom was standing at the door to my room with the phone in her hand. (Which she eventually had to just walk over and hand to me because Champ refused to move off of my legs.) My friend in Florida was on the phone, I could hear the concern in his choked voice.
“Hey” he said, ” I just talked to my Mom and she said that you had called last night and that I needed to call you as soon as I could.”
He spent over two hours on the phone comforting me while I told him everything that had happened the night before. This guy was my best friend. We had known each other for 2 years and before he left for Florida, we were inseparable. We went to different schools and he’d occasionally stop by my school to give me a ride home. He was my saving grace many times. He stepped in and fought battles for me to keep me alive and sane. He was the person who would randomly stop by my work to see how my day was going, and he would show up in my driveway unannounced to force me into his car to go to bible study with him because he knew that it was the only way to get me to go. He was one of my closest people ever. Him being there for me at this time meant the world to me.I was so glad that his Mom had called him to tell him to call me that day.
Before we got off the phone we made permanent plans for when he’d be home next.
Fast forward three months.
My friend was back in Minnesota, we were having a typical hangout day so we went to the mall. He wanted to buy a CD at one of the bookstores and they needed his home phone number to look up his account. He was having a difficult time finding his cellphone in his backpack so that he could give them his parents’ number, so I took the sheet of paper out of my wallet and read off his parents phone number for the clerk.
“Whose phone number was that?!” He asked, very confused.
“Your parents.” I replied.
“No, it isn’t.” He said as he continued to dig and finally found his phone.
“Um, YEAH IT IS. I have had this piece of paper since you left for Florida, you wrote down their number and your number in Florida.” I argued back.
“No, THIS is their phone number.” He said as he pulled up their number in his phone and showed it to me. Two of the last four digits were completely different than what I had on the paper in my hand.
“Did they change their phone number since January?” I asked as tears built up in my eyes thinking about that night.
“Nope!” He said “Looks like I screwed up the number when I wrote it down for you, sorry…why?”
I had dialed the wrong number that night. I had dialed the WAY wrong number that night and still had talked to his mom.
To this day that confuses me. HOW did that even happen?!
In an odd way it gives me hope that I am going to be taken care of. That in all this craziness God knows what I can handle and when I need people around me to help pull me through, to keep me from drowning and keep my head above water.
Why doesn’t God just make things a little easier for me? I don’t know. I do know that there is something bigger than me happening in this universe and that all this crap is going to work out for the good.
I still have many questions about God, life, purpose, and circumstance. I always will. But I am thankful that I was reminded of this event tonight. It gives me comfort. It gives me hope.