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  • It was all I could do to hold in a look of utter disbelief and disappointment. Patience and maintaining a calm demeanor is something I have mastered over the years, and it has served me well--

    The 70 year old man before me just informed me that, yes, the cell phone had finally made it's appearance in the mail, that the weeks of work that went into filling out paperwork, collecting needed documents to determine eligibility, and listening to endless phone menus and recordings just to be able to talk with a human who could help me with the process finally paid off.

    But that was not all. This gentle soft spoken and friendly man who quickly had become one of my favorite people to visit and assist in anyway I could, continued to say, that he had put the phone back in the mail with RTS on the package. Why would he return the phone that meant so much to him? Living alone, with virtually no way to contact a friend or the few distant cousins that make up his only family, or even to call me, he was so excited to hear that he could have free cell phone service each month. He anxiously was awaiting the arrival of the phone. Normally the process takes about a week, but because his income involved a meager pension check that had to be verified , it took an additional seven weeks.

    I knew I could not blurt out " WTF WERE YOU THINKING!!!" Instead, I could hear the words coming from that calm place somewhere beyond the WTF's, "Gee, why did you need to send the phone back?"

    And with a smile, he held out his wrists revealing superficial scratches on each, and demonstrated how, the night before, he held the knife to his chest and tried to push it in, but guessed his maker did not want him yet. He no longer would have any use for the phone if his plan had gone as intended.

    Suddenly, the vision of this gentle man (engulfed with loneliness and overwhelmed with debt) writing RTS on that package took on a whole new meaning and we sat and talked a while---a long while.
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