Hello from the other side


Its amazing how unexpected kindness can stop you dead in your trackseven when youre driving through the West Texas wind.

You know you live in the middle of nowhere when you have to drive an hour one way to take a guitar lesson.

You know you're crazy when you take guitar lessons at age 52 and find yourself wanting to smash the guitar against the wall like a raging hair-band guitarist.

I don't mind the trip to and from lessons. It gives me time alone to reflect, but as I drove through the West Texas wind, my cell phone chattered. I looked down to see who was calling.

Who do I know in Idaho?

I decided to take the call and expected a telemarketer's voice to ask me what brand of dog food I preferred. Instead, the voice that greeted me was quite sweet and almost seemed sad.

“Is this Dr. Brock?” I tried to absorb the undertone.

“Yes, how can I help you?” I said with as much skepticism as I could muster.

“My name is Caroline. I'm calling you from Idaho as I sit in a waiting room in a hospital.”

Are you kidding me? How does some lady sitting in a waiting room in Idaho get my cell phone number in Texas? I was beginning to wish I had never answered the phone, but the interaction that followed struck me to the core and left me crying in my pickup.

“Four weeks ago my 5-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. I was devastated and still am. The doctors have been kind and tried to assure me that they would do their best, but no matter what they say, I find myself crying more than my tear-producing glands can keep up with.”

I listen as she tells me more about the situation-how she got my number and why she'd gotten in touch.

“I called you because I have a two-hour wait while they do surgery on my son and a friend of mine gave me your book and told me to read it while I was waiting. She said it would make me laugh and smile no matter what the circumstances were. I was in no mood to read anything funny, or anything at all for that matter. But I took the book and started reading it. I never thought anything could make me smile or laugh today.”

I felt the first tear well up in my eye. How could I have ever thought when I wrote that book that I would get a phone call like this?

“I just wanted to thank you for your book and tell you that it has made my day so much brighter. My husband and I live on a ranch here and I can see your stories come to life because many of them are so close to how we live here. Thank you, Dr. Brock.”

We talked for maybe 20 minutes more. She told me all about her environment and her love for horses. We laughed and made conversation about all the things people who live so far apart still have in common. She brightened my spirit and lifted my optimism about humanity and left me an emotional mess through her kindness toward me on such a terrible day for her.

I finally said, “Thank you, Caroline. I hope it all goes well. You have made my day and I am so glad that the book made you smile.”

When I hung up the phone, I didn't care how she got my cell phone number.

For more information on Dr. Brock's book, Crowded in the Middle of Nowhere, click here.

Bo Brock, DVM, owns Brock Veterinary Clinic in Lamesa, Texas.

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