Tuesday, July 31, 2007


This was sent to me by a friend. I have no idea if this is a true story, but if it isn’t it should be.

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. “Information Please” could supply anyone's number and the correct time.My personal experience with this amazing person came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible.I ran around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, please" I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information." "I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. "Isn't your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody's home but me," I blubbered. "Are you bleeding?" the voice asked. "No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts somethin’ terrible." Can you open the icebox?" she asked. I said I could. “Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," she said .After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she help me locate Philadelphia. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk would eat fruit and nuts.Then, there was the time “Petey”, our pet canary, died. I called, Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to so many, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, " Wayne always remember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow I felt better.All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle . I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please."Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. "Information."I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."I laughed, "So it is really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?"I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister."Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally."Three months later I was back in Seattle . A different voice answered, "Information." I asked for Sally."Are you a friend?" she said."Yes, a very old friend," I answered."I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was very sick. Sally died five weeks ago." Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute, are you Wayne ?" "Yes." I answered."Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. As she read I felt a pain in my heart."Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean."I thanked her and gently hung up the phone.
We never know how profoundly our actions can impact the lives of others. If you have a chance to give a simple act of kindness, no matter how small, don’t think about it, be an Everyday Hero and just do it. Kindness and love are never wasted.

No comments: