When my phone rings and I don't recognize the number, I let the call go to voicemail and call back if needed. That helps me avoid the dreaded telemarketers.
Recently I received two such unknown calls. This mysterious caller left a nice but generic message with the first call, along the lines of "I'd love to hear from you and look forward to your call."
I identified it as a wrong number and didn't think any more of it. I figured the caller would receive her return call in time and all would be well without any intervention from me.
But about a week later, another voicemail showed up. This one was so sweet and plaintive: "I know you must very busy and I hope that you are well. I'm worried that you haven't called, after I left you a message last week. I don't want to bother you, but I so enjoy your calls that I am hoping we can talk again soon." All this in the kindest, most gentle mature female voice you can imagine. I could feel the person being brave and not pushy, but yearning for a connection. There was something about the voice . . . .
I realized that the caller had not connected with the person she wanted to reach, and I couldn't leave this message unanswered.
So I called back . . . and reached the St. Paisius Orthodox Monastery in Safford, Arizona. It's a lovely place, judging from the pictures -- a desert landscape, but also fruit trees, olive trees, and a vegetable garden.
My calls came from one of the nuns there, perhaps reaching out to a dear friend or a family member, maybe a niece or nephew far away. Unfortunately, I didn't know the caller's name, but the person I spoke to promised to determine who she was and try to correct the number.
She hasn't called again. But if I ever visit Arizona, I know one place I will go.