Information Please
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our
neighborhood.

I remember well the polished old case fastened to the wall. The shiny  
receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone,
but used to listen with fascination when my mother used to talk to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an
amazing person -- her name was
“Information Please“ and there was nothing
she did not know.

“Information Please” could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-bottle came one day   
while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench  in
the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer.

The pain was terrible, but there didn't seem to be any reason in crying
because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the  house
sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway -- The telephone!

Quickly I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it into the landing.
Climbing up I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.

"Information Please", I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.
"Information."

"I hurt my finger. . ." I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough
now that I had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?"

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

"Can you open your icebox?" she asked.

I said I could.
"Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger."
After that I called “Information Please” for everything. I asked her for  
help with my Geography and she told me where Philadelphia was.

She helped me with my math, and she told me my pet chipmunk - I had  
caught in the park just the day before - would eat fruits and nuts.

And there was the time that Petey, our pet canary, died. I called
“Information Please”  and told her the sad story.

She listened; then said the usual things grown-ups say to console a child,
but I was unconsoled.

Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families,
only to end up as a heap of feathers, feet up on the bottom of a cage?

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly,
"Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone.
"Information Please."

"How do you spell fix?" I asked?

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest.  Then when I   
was  9 years old, we moved across the country to Boston - I missed my
friend very much.  
“Information Please” belonged in that old wooden box
back home, and I  somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new    
phone that sat on the  hall table.

Yet as I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations
never really left me; often in moments of doubt and perplexity I would
recall the serene sense of security I had then.

I appreciate now how patient, understanding and kind she was to have spent
her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle.
I had about half an hour or so between planes,  and I spent 15 minutes on  
the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I
was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said,
"Information Please."

Miraculously, I heard again the small, clear voice I knew so well,
"Information."

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you tell me how to
spell fix."

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess that
your finger must have healed by now."

I laughed, "So it's really still you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea    
how much you meant to me during that time."

"I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I      
never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls."

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I
could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

"Please do, just ask for Sally."

Just three months later I was back in Seattle .  A different voice answered
"Information", and I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?"

"Yes, a very old friend."

"Then I'm sorry to have to tell you. Sally has been working part-time the   
last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

But before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute. Did you say your name
was Paul?"

"Yes."

"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down. Here it is;  I'll   
read   it --
'Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know
what I mean.'"

I thanked her and hung up.
I did know what Sally meant. 1
Sometimes people come into your life and you
know right away that they were meant to be
there, to servesome sort of purpose, teach  
you a lesson, or to help you figure out who     
you are or who you want to become.

Those people you meet who affect your life,
and the success and downfalls you experience,
and who are there, no matter what, will be
there throughout your life to help you to  
create who you are and who you become;     
they are, quite simply, a part of you.
Happiness in life is not measured by the things we achieve, the places we    
go, or the route that we take to get there. Happiness in life is measured     
by the people that we share all of our experiences with. 2
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Acknowledgements:
* From, "One!The Journey hOMe", the book  by Klaas Tuinman MA, ©2007-17
[1]
-Information Please –Author Unknown
[2]  -Chris Needham
"One! The Journey hOMe"
Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside assistance for your Journey through Life
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Abbey-Bench