The Phone Call That Changed My Life

By: Julie Thompson

There are certain moments in time that change our lives forever. For me, one of those moments was when I learned my mom had passed away.

It was eight years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember waking up at 12:40 a.m. to my phone ringing and talking to one of my sisters. I listened as she told me about our mom’s final moments. I remember hanging up the phone and laying in bed for hours…going between moments of shock (did I just imagine that phone call?), moments of anger (why didn’t God allow me to be there?), and moments of feeling completely devastated.

My mom had battled breast cancer for 9 years, and while deep down I knew her time on earth was coming to an end, in that moment I learned that the thought of losing someone is very different than actually losing someone.

At the age of 26, I became a motherless daughter.

Motherless daughters share a special bond. Recently, I was reading the book, Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships, by Lisa-Jo Baker, and within the first few pages she shared that she became a motherless daughter at the age of 18.

While her book focuses on how to create and keep lasting friendships, Lisa-Jo Baker also shares how her friends supported her after her mother’s death. I saw myself in part of her story.

Lisa-Jo’s first phone call after her mom passed away was to a friend. My first phone call was also to a friend.

A few weeks before my mom passed away, one of my closest friends told me to call her whenever I got “the call.” She didn’t want me to drive myself back home alone. She said she would drive. She wanted to go with me.

My friend followed through on her offer. After I called her, she dropped everything for me. She left work, packed her bags, and before I knew it, she was at my apartment, with food in hand, and her adorable dog. We had a quick lunch, and then she drove me to my hometown, which was 4.5 hours away, so that I could be with my family.

It was the longest car ride of my life, and even though my heart was broken, I felt incredibly loved by my friend (and her adorable dog who sat on my lap the whole time).

In Never Unfriended, Lisa-Jo Baker says,

“Maybe the most intimate, radical thing we can do for our friends is to show up.”

Losing my mom helped me understand the truth in this statement.

I felt loved when my friend showed up to drive me home. I felt loved when my former teaching mentor (who I hadn’t seen in years), showed up at my mom’s visitation. She drove an hour just to give me a hug. I felt loved when 7 of my friends/co-workers showed up at my mom’s funeral. Most of them had never met my mom, yet they drove 4.5 hours to comfort me.

In the midst of my grief, God revealed His love for me through my friends.

I learned that friends make sacrifices.

Friends put others’ needs in front of their own.

Friends are willing to share your grief so you don’t have to walk through the darkness alone.

The hardest phone call of my life allowed me to experience the beautiful gift of friendship.  

I’m so thankful my friends showed up for me. Who will you show up for today?

To read more blogs by Julie, check out her personal blog: .

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