Life’s Lessons

A phone call from the dead

In the ’80s our family was looking for someone to live with our beloved mother in her later years. Otherwise, we would need to put her in a nursing home, and even though she had told us individually, “When I need to go to a nursing home and don’t want to, just do it anyway,” we still wanted to delay that move as long as possible.

I suggested a cousin and her husband who might do it. They had very recently moved to Florida but I would ask them.

Chris, our cousin, and her husband, Carl, talked it over and said they would do it. He had been planning to take a job with a movie theater in their new location since that was his vocation, but they would put that on hold and return to Ohio to meet our mother’s need.

When they returned to Florida about a year later, our contacts with them, whether by phone or mail, were very infrequent.

A few years ago, we received word Chris had passed. Though they lived their last several years in Florida, they had already had their tombstone set in Wauseon Union Cemetery. A year or so later, when I went to the cemeteries at Memorial Day, I observed the year of her death had been etched into the stone. Surprisingly, the date of Carl’s death was also there. We hadn’t heard but Carl must have died as well, so I placed a plant at the stone.

Image my surprise when I received a call the other day from a man who introduced himself as Carl, my cousin’s husband!

He explained. When he had Chris’s date done, he told them to just go ahead and do his date, too, in the following year. Why bother this business again, when it could be done and he could pay the bill?

He assured me he is doing pretty well for a “dead man”! We visited a while, catching up on news, some of which was pretty old since he had been “dead” for several years.

Then he asked about specific sites in Wauseon – what is now located where the Star Drive-In Theater used to be? How about the Princess Theater? The restaurant that was in the Arcade building? That had been a favorite with them as it had reasonable prices and good food. .

I did fairly well with some of the questions, but when he started asking about people, I got lost. In particular, he wanted to make contact with a young man (young at the time he worked for Carl at the Star Drive-In) by the last name of Brigham or Bingham (I wasn’t sure which he said). If you are that “young” man, please contact me through the Expositor and I’ll pass on Carl’s phone number.

You know, Jesus talked about messages from the dead, too. Only he meant those who really were dead. He stated that even if one returned from the dead, those who refuse to believe would not be convinced. (Luke 16:30, 31)

Don’t wait for a call from the dead to convince you of your need of Jesus as your Savior. “Today is the day of salvation.” (II Cor. 6:2)

A phone call from the dead