Life and Death in America

Over the past couple weeks I’ve had the privilege of getting back into an old hobby of mine. For several years now I’ve been building a genealogy of all the ancestors I can tie in. Not only did I got up the family tree, in several cases I went back down, then back up, ending up far from where my blood comes from. Why? I’m not sure. I could focus more on those directly above me, and I do, but I like to see how I can tie myself in to various people. Rembrandt Van Rijn, Aaron Burr, Davy Crockett are some of the famous names I can tie myself to. I can trace my line back to the kings and queens of several countries too: France, England, Germany. I even have an ancestor who had this written about him: “To whom Paul the Apostle preached”.

So why am I relaying this to you?

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The Difference a Phone Call Makes

Every so often in life you have moments that define who you are and who you will become. I just had one of those moments and all I could do was wave at it as it passed.

You see I just received a telephone call and because I am at work I chose not to answer it. This decision may prove to be a deciding factor in my life or death for when I looked at the caller ID it said quite simply “Tom.” To immediately dispel any notions you may have, the fact is that I do have my name and my phone number listed in my address book, therefore when the name Tom came up it meant there was only one conclusion – I was calling myself.

So there I sat, phone in hand, paralyzed. If I answer it who will be on the other line? Will it be me, my future self perhaps? Am I in peril, or am I just warning myself about something huge? Perhaps I have found out what 42 equals for example. If I do answer it though I may break the continuity of the space time continuum and then what will happen? Will the earth explode? Will I be forever changed so much so that in the future I don’t make the same phone call which means I can’t have received it in the past which means it couldn’t happen!? My final thoughts were much more on the practical side of things as I reflected as to whether or not I would leave myself a voice mail.

The ringing stopped.

I waited but there was no voice mail. I checked my caller ID to be sure and it was in fact not only my name, but my phone number that was used to make the call. Realistically it makes sense that I wouldn’t have left myself a voice mail since I hate talking to machines…but my guess is that I didn’t have time because I was in grave danger and had but one shot to reach myself in the past and when I chose to not answer the phone all hope was lost.

Someday when some great tragedy befalls me you will know that it could have been avoided simply by answering my phone. I can only suggest that if ever you receive a call from yourself – answer it because you very probably are calling for a really good reason.