Peter Martinich Memoir – The Call

Peter Martinich

Mr. Jockers

ILA – Period 6

February 2, 2017

The Call

By: Peter Martinich


Phone calls. They can impact someone’s life in various ways; positive, or negative. They can trigger many feelings and emotions in us as well, such as joy and excitement and surprise and anger, and unfortunately, even sadness and despair. It can be a call back from a job interview, where you got the job. You would feel joy, you would be very excited, especially for your future ahead. Or maybe you get a call back from a real estate agent, with the sorrowful news that you did not get the house you wanted. Your heart aches at even the tone of the caller’s almost sad voice, but you try to realize that there are plenty of other houses out there. So yes, talking from a Distance on a Cellular Device can inflict some intense emotions. Some can alter the course of your future, although not always permanently. But then there are the calls, with news, that were just not meant to be heard, right from the beginning…


I had woken up in nervous sweat, startled, a confused, yet, terrified expression on my face. Probably had just woken up from a bad dream, or a horrific nightmare (One I can not seem to remember). I had stayed laying in my bed, staring at the ceiling. Thoughts rushing through my head like someone late to a job (Well, maybe not that fast). My eyes were still squinting from not fully waking up, my brows furrowed in confusion from what brooding had gone on in my head. Usually after fully waking up in the morning, I will go on my phone, check for the latest sports news, or any basketball game scores, since baseball regular season had not quite started yet. Then maybe head downstairs to eat breakfast, which usually contained Cocoa Puffs or Frosted Flakes. Whatever the mood. But instead, I lay there thinking, blank thoughts, with a blank face. Trying to comprehend what is going on in my head. The level of intensity of this thinking was sparse, very unusual. It was almost like a Television screen that was not turned on; it was colorless, and had no image. But the silence surrounds you, giving you an uncertain type of feeling. There was too much going on in my head at the moment. Parts of me wanted to yell and scream, some wanted me to start bawling like a child in the middle of the night. And then some wanted me to get up and start “frolicking through the flowers” into an everlasting rainbow. I did not understand why. At all.  

I was then interrupted by the morning sun shining through my window, right into my eyes, although not as bright as usual. I went to get out of bed, but I was too weak, my body aching, to get up. It was just one of those days, the weekends typically (Sunday morning specifically), where getting out of bed was the hardest part of the day. I finally found the strength, and was able to sit up, put on a shirt, and slip on a pair of sweatpants before making my way to go downstairs. Every step I took down the stairwell though, for some reason, came with a shock of pain in my head.  

“Hey, is your head alright?” My Mom had asked in her worried, motherly tone.

Her dearing concern for me and all others was a treasured trait of mine. But right now, I am uncertain myself if I know what’s wrong with my head. Or me in general. Or the rest of this day at all.

“Yeah, just a little bit of a headache is all,” I lied back.

The truth was, I really was not feeling the best, and it was not until I looked out my dining room window and saw the gloomy day outside that I realized why. A light gray sky spread throughout, not a sliver of blue peeking out, especially behind the even darker clouds. A forceful breeze shot through the air, shaking the branches on the mighty oaks in a rapid motion. It even caused a branch to come flying off from one of them, landing in our front lawn. It was the howl of the wind like a wolf on the peek of a cliff in front of the full, gleaming moonlight that sent a chill down the back of my spine. It is days like these that truly make you feel under the weather.

But what I did not know, coming down those stairs, on that gloomy afternoon, was that with each step would bring me closer to even more pain. Not physical, but the mental kind. The one where you can not fight any tears, and they come pouring out like rain during a hurricane, non-stop. A moment stopping-really a life stopping, occasion.  

I continued down the stairs until my foot hit the floor. I was the living dead walking in to my kitchen; huge, slow, giant steps. Emotionless. And Tired. I then proceeded to sit at my kitchen counter. Thoughts still blank, but yet non-stop and terribly contradicting. My head was spinning. I thought breakfast would be a good way to calm my nerves. And then my mom came by. Warning me of a future Call. The Call.

“What’s up?” I asked in an unsteady, restless voice.

“Dad just wants to check in is all.” Her voice was shaky. Choking on her words a little, as if she was about to cry.

“Alright then…” I trailed off, in a questionable tone.

It was only a few moments later that I hear the ringing. My heart races, beating out of my chest, heat coming onto my body. Why am I this anxious? What is there to worry about? Adrenaline darted through my body in the blink of an eye. Then the thoughts shoot back into my head. But they’re clear now. I hear two clicks. Or what was more like two beeps. Two beeps. And then my father’s voice; but a sorrowful tone. I look away, pretending to mind my own business. News was coming. Bad news. I knew exactly what was about to happen…what I was about to hear. Tragedy. Mourning. Grief. It all fell into place right after…

Positive or negative, the outcome of a call, and really anything, is only what you make of it. It is an unfavorable trait that us humans, by nature, are keen to the realm of anguish. And affliction. But there is always light in the most defeatist of situations. Hope that everything will get better. And it will. Step by step, events may fall into place that will maybe make you unhappy. But remember something better is coming your way. Something great. That will trigger only joyful moments of even the worst situations. People, places, or anything should be only reminisced and honored as life goes on, and not an empty hole left in our hearts. Since they should always be in our hearts. Forever. Life works in mysterious ways. Life will go on. But life can have new beginnings.

That is how I came to find out about my dear Uncle Mike. An unexpected, tragic passing, it took a hard toll. We got through it, though, by sticking together. By reminding ourselves constantly of how much he cared for each and every one of us. He was known and very well-loved by all he knew, and he truly touched our hearts in numerous ways, uncountable. He will never be forgotten, by only in the dearest and most cherishable of memories.


To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

Thomas Campbell

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