Of course I know that good news travels well by telephone. Surely I've gotten some upbeat and heart-swelling phone calls over the years. How else would I have ever heard of the numerous births of friends' children? Or the engagement of best friends? Or the Chatty Cathy doll a friend got for Christmas?
So how come when I think of telephone calls, my thoughts always turn to those that brought the terrible news? The tumor eating my father's brain. His death just over three months later. My grandparents passing. A cousin run down by a city official. Something ominous on a mammogram. My mom in need of surgery.
Whenever the phone rings at that odd time of day -- early, early in the morning or in the middle of the night -- any of us with a phone feels our heart beating, beating, beating as we reach for the receiver. It's not one of those flee-or-fight instincts we have from thousands of years ago. But I suspect it's one that is slowly making its way into future generations. [Although, since we're still walking around with a useless appendix after so many years, what are the chances the rapid heartbeat in response to middle-of-the-night ringing will be embedded into us any time soon?]
[It's a brief post today. It's Mother's Day, you know, and we're celebrating by camping in the wilderness. That would be the wilderness with wi-fi, thanks. No television. No telephone. But, hey, we can't live without the Internet, especially when Man United won today! Go read some real Sunday Scribblings posts, won't you?]