Last week, my phone rang at 5 AM sharp. It was one of my oldest friends, from high school, whom I just celebrated my 30th with in Texas on a girls' trip (four of us met up, from all across the country and time zones - yeah Class of 99!). This friend has three small children, and sometimes crosses wires about said time zone changes, understandably. I immediately thought, it's 8 AM there and she just dropped the kids at preschool. I know they start at 8:15 and go until 11:15 AM. She probably forgot it's only 5 here.
So I hit the silent button, and stopped John from putting on his gym clothes and heading to our elliptical machine. "That was my phone, not your alarm, babe," and he confusedly went back to sleep. I sent her a text, "its 5 am you woke us up". I was thinking about the olden days of ten or twelve years ago, when a drunken phone call was not uncommon from my friends or myself, and hilarious voice messages or conversations ensued.
She texted back immediately: "[name of her brother] died".
I leapt out of bed and called back, profusely apologizing and hearing the story of a car accident that happened 3/4 of the way across the country only a few hours earlier. "I'm sorry I called so early, I was sitting here waiting, and I just couldn't wait anymore."
So this is a reminder to answer my damn phone when it rings.
And it's been a reminder all week that you can't live every day like it is your last - you can't say goodbye to those you love like you'll never see them again after every cup of coffee, every dinner out, every phone conversation - but you can be present with them each and every time you see or speak to them, and be sure you never miss an opportunity to listen to them, to love them, to be right there with them and not halfway on to the next thing.