When the Phone Rings at Midnight

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We would’ve been in bed already, if I could have pried Patty off the computer. But precisely at midnight, the phone rang.

You know what a late-night phone call means. Something terrible has happened. I thought, “This is it, Aunt Joan has died and they’re calling up to tell me.”


And this cheery voice replies, “Hello, Mr. Dooo-gon!”

Now you don’t take that tone when you’re telling someone that one of his loved ones has died, so my dread quickly gave way to confusion. It turned out to be one of the nurses asking my consent for Joan to receive a unit of blood. And that was that.

Well, almost.

I was half-undressed when the phone rang again. “What the devil is it now!” I had to charge back downstairs in the dark, with cats eager to dash across my ankles and kill me. And it was just another nurse with the same request. My consent isn’t official unless at least two nurses hear it. The first nurse forgot that, so they had to call back.

“Is that it? Can I finally go to bed now?”

Yeah, we can go to bed, adrenalin racing through our systems–because those late-night phone calls freak you out. Patty didn’t sleep at all, kept turning on lights, finally gave up trying. I got an hour or so. I find myself a wee bit tuckered-out this morning.

To those cheery nurses, of course, midnight is just normal working hours. They didn’t think twice about calling me… twice. I have found that hardly anybody understands that, after 9 p.m. or so, when the phone rings, it is not good news. It seems people hardly ever die in the middle of the day. And then of course there are those lovely calls from the police, “Your son/wife/pet giraffe has been in an accident…”

Well, anyhow, Joan is still alive, still battling: and still in need of our prayers. I was thinking of playing some basketball today–well, that’s out.

5 comments on “When the Phone Rings at Midnight

  1. That had to be quite taxing. The second call was poor planning on their part, but I guess that’s about par for the course. You and Patty are in my prayers.

  2. I’m sorry about the disturbance, and I totally understand; having been through these things myself. I will pray for both of you.

  3. Oh, dear. What an experience. And of course once you get the second call, you stay tensed up the rest of the night waiting for a third one….

    But at least it wasn’t the call you were afraid of. Thanks be to God.

  4. In the scheme of things, it’s better to receive late-night permission phone calls than the ones we all dread. We’ve had that 5 a.m knock at our door announcing tragedy. Thanks be to God this was a good call – even if they did have to make a second one.

  5. Not getting a good night’s sleep is no fun the next day. If it happens once in a while not that noticeable. That’s why having babies is for the young – you lose a lot of sleep the first few months. Personally, I am pretty religious about getting 8 hours of sleep a night now that I am older. I used to do fine with 61/2 hours.
    Continued prayers for Aunt Joan.

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