We got a call on Sunday night at 2:30 a.m. When the phone rang, James asked who could be calling at this hour. My first thought was that something had happened to my Aunt Carol, since she has been in the hospital. Then I heard James say it was from the address of our business. I was thinking someone had broken in. When James got off the phone, he told me that someone had a wreck and had hit the sign at work. I was really glad that is all that it was. I don’t know if I would have felt the same way if I had just heard about the sign being damaged. There is probably a lesson in there somewhere about how to break bad news to someone.
In my family, a call in the middle of the night means that someone has died. I remember a time when I was a kid, and while my Aunt Carol was staying with me, my mom called in the middle of the night to tell Aunt Carol that a family member had died. She told Aunt Carol to wait till morning to tell me, but she needed a cover story. She had Aunt Carol tell me that it was going to freeze and we needed to bring all the plants inside. My mother loved plants and had hundreds of potted plants that needed to be brought in when it froze. It may have been a dozen or so plants, but in my kid mind it was hundreds or may be even thousands of plants that took hours to carry in and out. Mom was worried that I might figure out why she called, but I had carried those plants in and out enough that it seemed like a normal thing to call about.