A Chance to Speak to a Loved One

So, this all happened a little over five years back, when I worked at a call center. To preface the actual event, my grandmother had been terribly sick for months. She had ulcers in her stomach, and when the doctors would go in to patch them, more would rupture. It got to the point where she had so many blood transfusions that little of her blood was even her own, and she needed a tube down her throat to maintain her breathing.

At a certain point, I somehow knew I needed to go see her. So I let my team leads know, called in, and drove the 2 and a half hours to get to the hospital in her town. And I’m glad I did. Because that was the last time I got to see her. That day, at her decision upon being asked, they took out the breathing tube, put her under, and she peacefully passed on.

Now, understand my grandmother was a vibrant woman, and a little eccentric. She always spoke her mind – even when it wasn’t exactly polite to do so. But she always did so in a way that was endearing, the sort of comments that make you chuckle at how brash it is. But that day, she was almost a shell of her former self. With the breathing tube and her being put under on anesthetics, I didn’t really get to talk to my grandmother so much as just say goodbye.

And that’s what made this story so impactful for me.

Fast forward to the week after my grandma’s funeral. I was in what they called “nesting,” getting people ready to start under standard parameters, blah blah blah. And I was waiting for the next call to come in. When it finally came, I did the standard intro they taught us to use. What I heard next almost stunned me to silence.

The person who called – this woman, this stranger – sounded verbatim like my grandmother! She had the same voice, the same tones, even almost identical mannerisms. My heart felt like it was going to burst and leave my chest a tattered mess at my cubicle.

The real kicker? This woman was also just as nice and endearing as Grandma. She was calling to close an account, and was the most polite, patient, PEACH of a woman the entire time.

When it came to the end of the call, I couldn’t resist. After rambling off the stupid outro, I added,

“And, miss? It’s been a genuine pleasure talking with you.”

Her response was something along the lines of,

“Oh! Well, that’s so nice of you to say! I enjoyed talking with you, too. Goodbye!.”

I feel like I wanted to choke out a goodbye back, but she had already hung up. One of my team leads was at my cubicle at the end – I’d called them over for help or approval in shutting the account out – and they could tell. I was visibly shaken. The kind soul gave me a 15 minute pass to collect myself.

I will never forget that kind old lady. To this day, I honestly believe that, in a way, God was giving me a chance to talk with my Grandma in a way that I had so desperately wanted to, but didn’t have the chance for.

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I can speak English, can you?

Just had a call that was kinda funny.