the phone number at nautilus teachings

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i open my phone
with my thumb print
and there is
his
name…
i have kept it safe
since his death
march 12, 2012.
for a long time i had
his last message,
but then somehow
it just
disappeared,
leaving me
without his voice.
i have several friends
who, since passing
i notice their family
still keeps up
their Facebook page
and when their birthdays
roll around
and i am prompted to
wish them happy birthday
i think to myself
maybe i should post
hugs and prayers
to the family
or loved your mom, dad…
something kind,
but
i don’t
because seeing their face
again
brings back memories
of all kinds
but mostly
of their last days
of suffering…
with my friend
Pastor Bill
it is different.
he was my mentor
my father figure
and when he was in his last weeks
d and i flew to see him,
his beautiful wife
by his side.
when we walked in,
his eyes lit up
and he whispered,
‘it’s sheri, my sheri. sheri is here…’

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we stayed for a small while,
long enough for me to
tell him i love him
for him to say
to my d and his k,
‘k, you know i love you, but this is my sheri,
i love her too…’
we all smiled
acknowledging
this mans powerful strength
through faith
still flowed
no matter his diminishing body.
on days when i see his number
or name in my favorites
i pause
and remember that day,
but mostly i remember being
11.
it was the first time i met him,
the pastor of our new church
he was giant
suntan
big brown eyes
soft voice
purple robe
and huge arms to hug you.
his family
adopted me
as one of them
and together
bill and i had weekly visits,
breakfast, lunch…
until we moved to OBX
when i was 37.
after that he came to visit me
once a year
and we had weekly phone chats
exchanged letters
read each others poetry…
for me,
he just was my dad.

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some phone numbers
stick with you forever
695-1505
was the number of
my childhood home
742-8251
has and will always be
my aunts phone number…
but today we
‘favorite’ numbers
speed dial certain names
we don’t have to remember
their digits
because the techno world
saves it all for us…
i love saving all my passwords
in the cloud,
however,
on more than one occasion
i have had to try and
remember the
all important password
and have forgotten it
the result me being locked out
until i was safely at home
on my beloved
locked box laptop pro!
i breathe a huge sigh
and think of bill…
gosh,
i miss him so much
and between you and me,
i don’t know his number
because he  lived long enough
to be put into my
favorites list on my
iPhone ….
something my mom
never had the chance to do…
two people
i loved
who help raise me
mold me
both leading me
through faith
always listening
never judging
and who’s voices
i will always miss…
i smile
thinking to myself
i wonder who would answer
if i gently tapped
bill
on my phone?
someone, somewhere has his number
is laughing
working
living
growing…
maybe i should just call them up
and say,
‘hey, i just want you to know
you have the phone number
of one of the greatest men
i ever knew…’
and then i think,
nope!
it would ruin
everything
and i would ultimately
take him from my favorites
hitting the delete button…
i like knowing
he is safe in memory
that no matter what
from anywhere in the world
i can dial up my aunt,
i love so much…
some things just don’t change
and to me
that is
#A.O.K.!

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