Today, while at work, I came across a name that made me stop… stare… re-read… the name was the same as a good friend’s deceased child, Tracy. First name… last name… spelling match.
Tracy died three years and a day ago from the point that I was looking at the account. I peered at the state and was thankful that it didn’t match.
I never met Tracy. He lived in Iowa after I’d long since left the state. From his pictures he seemed like a kid who loved life… all boy… loved snakes and was full of energy. He also had a pony, named Bob, who he dearly loved. And my friend loved him with all of her heart. Tracy’s father was a firefighter.
I hesitated before calling, but a call was unavoidable. I hoped for a answering machine… a wrong number… somehow, stumbling over words and saying, “you have the same name as my friend’s dead child”– although relating to the customer would be far from World Class customer service. Luckily, there was only an answering machine…. message left… new account.
Then later I thought… what happens when I have a “John Smith.” I’ve already spoken to a Mary Smith and to several David Smiths (my husband’s father’s name). I don’t know if I can handle making that call. How would I feel when I hear the voice of John Smith and it’s not John’s voice. I don’t think I’m that strong. My voice would crack and I’d end up crying… I know it. I’ve perfected silent tears… I can cry in the car without Nathaniel hearing and I can cry at my desk without being noticed. But once the voice cracks… it’s over.
I would hope that one of my co-workers could take the call and that management would understand. I’d give almost anything to hear my John’s voice again… to speak to him… to tell him how much I love him… and to tell him what a great son he has… to listen to him talk… about anything… about everything… but… I can’t…
Miss you John… love you always…
My thoughts are with Tracy’s family, too. Anniversaries are always hard… Maybe John and Tracy have met up in Heaven and John’s showing him the ropes of firefighting. John LOVED teaching firefighting.