Stay on the Line
The cop took a U-turn at the light, following me in my lane.
“There is a police car behind me,” I explained to my sister on the phone. I put my blinker on and turned. “Oh no, they turned too.”
“Want me to get off the phone?” My sister sensed my nerves.
I checked my review mirror again. “Yes, and please say a little prayer.” We have a rule that the one who’s not driving hangs up. I slowed, not sure of the speed limit, and decided to turn again.
The cop continued forward. I let out a sigh of relief. And heard breathing in my ear.
“Rachel, are you still there?”
“Yes. Maybe.” She laughed. Caught.
“I thought I should get off the phone, but then I thought maybe I should stay on. Just in case you needed anything. I panicked, said a silent prayer and decided to be really quiet. To see how it turned out.”
I laughed, not surprised at all. My sister loves to be “in the know”. We often joke that her greatest gift would be if I finally gave her access to my phone and location tracker.
“I’m glad you didn’t get pulled over.”
I was a little perturbed. Focus can be easier for me without distraction. I’m the driver who needs the radio off to find an obscure place for the first time. Plus, I’m definitely one for respecting someone’s wishes. I told her, “Next time, when I say I’ve got to get off the phone, I mean just that.” We laughed again. I knew my sister’s heart. One that is for me above most anything.
I said, “Okay, I really need to go now, I’m getting on I-35. Love you.”
“Love you, Bye.”
As I drove, the depth of our moment sunk in. All my annoyance was gone. I knew Rachel wanted to be in the know. But more than anything else, she just wanted to be sure I was okay. I realized how powerful it is to have someone whose default is to stay on the line.
I reflected on my week. I agonized over a difficult conversation with someone I love. I braved uncomfortable communication. Ultimately, when I spoke my truth it wasn’t well received and my heart continues to hurt.
I wonder if you’ve experienced anything similar: when a loved one reacts in a way that might be different than we wish, but you know their response is out of absolute love. What’s an example of someone “staying on your line” in the best way they know how? Or how are you are trying to do the same?
Your Brave Tutu (You’re brave, too-too!)
-Take courage in delight. Discover power in small moments.