the Phone Message (a true story)

1123The following is a story that happened, I witnessed it, I was there, and is 100%true. This particular story happened in 1998 on a rather ordinary day.

My mother, Carroll E., who had worked at the Hilltop for decades was sitting at her desk in her office. I was there visiting with her and having lunch in the opulent “small dining room” that had a commanding view of the Potomac river and the surrounding river valley. It was a rather nondescript day, the sun was playing behind the fast-moving clouds in the late September sky as the leaves on the mountains changed from their summer green into the wonderful fiery shades of red and orange that signaled autumn was in the air.

After lunch I went to her office to catch up on the town gossip and the various goings on of the hotel I had come to call home. It was a slow day in the place and we had time to chat. The front desk clerk would occasionally drop in and give phone messages to my mother or her assistant.

it was about 2pm when she came in to drop off one single message to my mother. The message itself sent a chill down both of our spines.

“Is this a joke?” my mother asked before the clerk could leave the office.

The clerk looked surprised. “No, Carroll, that’s the message. your mom called and said she was fine.” the clerk smiled brightly. “that’s nice your mom still calls to tell you she’s ok.”

I had to sit back down and could not, under any circumstances, hide the look of shock that fell over my face.

The clerk, obviously confused by my, and my mother’s shock, stood there questioningly. “Carroll, is something wrong?”

“You’re SURE she said it was my mother?” my mom asked not taking her eyes off the slip of pink paper the clerk had handed her.

“Yes, ma’am, I’m sure. There was a lot of static on the line but I’m positive she said to ‘tell Carroll her mother is fine.'” she said with an unmistakable tone of certainty.

My mother and I exchanged glances “My mother has been dead for 10 years or more.”

The clerk’s face paled and she turned and simply walked back to the front desk visibly shaken…

Had I not been there to witness this, even I would be skeptical.

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