Saturday, February 13, 2021

THE MYSTERIOUS PHONE CALL Jack Blanchard's Column February 13, 2021



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NOTE: I've written so many stories that I can't always remember when I last sent them out, so if I send one again too soon, don't tell me. It would only make me cry.

THE MYSTERIOUS PHONE CALL

My sister Virginia passed away Easter weekend, 2002,
after a prolonged stay in hospitals and nursing homes.
Much of her suffering during the last few years
was due to horrible healthcare workers, arrogant doctors,
and the wrong medications they prescribed.

Ginny deserved better.
She was in poor health and nearly blind most of her life,
and was the closest thing to a saint I've ever encountered.
She was cheerful and funny even after all her suffering,
and never hurt anyone in her life.

One night in 2005, at 11PM, Three years after her death,
I got a phone call from Ginny.

The call came in on our private line,
known only to friends and relatives,
and the Caller ID said "BLOCKED NUMBER".
I never pick up on blocked calls, but this time I did.
It was, after all, our private number,
and I thought maybe somebody close to us might be in trouble.

It was Virginia.
I know that voice, probably better than my own.
I was covered with chills and goose pimples from head to foot,
and had to hang on to something to keep from falling.

At first the voice was soft and distant, and I said "Hello?"
Her tone sounded desperate and pleading.
Then I recognized words: "I can't find my ball."

"Who is this?" I asked.
"I've lost my ball", she said a little more emphatically.

"What ball did you lose?" I asked.
I already knew who it was,
and I didn't understand any of this weirdness,
but my reaction was to try and help my kid sister.
The voice on the line started to fade away,
still pleading for help I couldn't give.

I called our sister Valerie and told her about the call.
We both got chills.
Val told me that Ginny had had trouble with one of her hands.
I think it was caused by a stroke.
She was given a ball to squeeze for therapy,
and occasionally the ball would get lost among the bed covers.
Val would enter the hospital room and ask Ginny how she was,
and the reply sometimes was "I've lost my ball".

We're trying to figure it all out,
and have found no easy answers.
Here's one remotely possible conclusion.
We had a lot of trouble with hospital staff,
and threatened to sue them more than once.
We may have gotten an employee fired, and angry at us.

This is pretty far-fetched, but barely possible.
A disgruntled employee could have recorded Ginny's voice,
and is trying to scare us for revenge.
But why would they wait for three years?

Later Valerie received a call
from a rest home in Minneola, a nearby town.
She found the number on her Caller ID this morning.
They left no message.
Could a worker who is holding a grudge be working there?

The easiest explanation is that it was a call from a ghost.
What doesn't seem to fit is this...
Our sister Virginia would be in a better place,
and not still suffering after death.

If I get another blocked number call on our private line,
I am going to pick it up.

Jack Blanchard

   Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan



Grammy Nominees. Billboard Duet of the Year.
Home page: http://jackandmisty.net.
Facebook: http://facebook.com/jackandmisty.
Email: jackandmisty@gmail.com.
VIDEOS: http://youtube.com/jackandmisty


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Jack Blanchards Column


 
Thousands of readers around the world

THE TEAR

There's something about a photograph.
Many people believe that having your picture taken steals some of your soul.
I look at pictures of friends and relatives who have died,
and I can see that soul, especially in the eyes,
the expression, and even the body language.
I have a picture of my mother
taken at a holiday gathering during her later years.
She was smiling, and seemed to be in the Christmas spirit.

I've looked at that picture many times,
but a few weeks ago, I enlarged it,
and thought I saw something.

I hit the 200% button, made it really big,
and zoomed in on her face.
The smile was still there,
but in her eye I saw something unexpected:
A tear.

I sat back in shock and took a deep breath.
What could she have been thinking?
Was it a tear of joy or sadness?
Did she know that it may be one of her last family moments?
I asked her that question aloud,
but the photograph didn't answer.

I'm sure we were all enjoying the moment together,
but at the same time, taking it for granted.
You always think there will be many more.
Now I realize my mother was not taking that moment for granted.

I keep going back to look at the photo,
even though it's burned into my mind,
and my heart.

When I discovered the tear behind her smile,
I had tears to match hers.
We spoke to each other beyond the limits of time and space.
There is soul in a photograph.

Jack Blanchard

             Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan.


Grammy Nominees. Billboard Duet of the Year.
Home page: http://jackandmisty.net.
Facebook: http://facebook.com/jackandmisty.
Email: jackandmisty@gmail.com.
VIDEOS: http://youtube.com/jackandmisty

Saturday, January 30, 2021

VALENTINE'S DAY, 1991 Jack Blanchard's Column



Thousands of readers around the world

VALENTINE'S DAY, 1991

That was the day of the strong arm robbery.
We were playing in Jacksonville Florida,
and Misty wanted to go and buy a red blouse for Valentine's Day.
She was already wearing a very nice red blouse,
but I kept my mouth shut.

We drove to a Pic 'n' Save store on Dunn Avenue.
I dropped her off near the door and drove to the nearest parking slot.
It had just gotten dark.
As I was locking the car door I heard a woman scream.
I had never heard Misty scream,
but the sound came from where she ought to be... by the door.

I started toward the building
and saw a big guy running from the door area,
from right to left across the front of the building,
and carrying a woman's purse.

He was going about 35 mph
when he saw me running directly at him.
He shouted: "NOOOOOOO!"
We crashed head on and I knocked him across a bunch of shopping carts.
I spun around, flew a few feet,
and landed on the point of my index finger, like an acrobat.
The finger bent into an "L", and I did a neat landing on my face.

People in the parking lot closed in,
held the guy down and called the police,
while I looked for my glasses and bled from a variety of places.

He had been running toward the high chain link fence
where he was to throw the purse to his brother,
who was waiting on the other side.
The brother disappeared.

The cops told us that if he hadn't taken at least $400
they couldn't send him away, wink, wink.
Funny, that's the exact amount we reported.

Meanwhile, Misty, who was also hurt
from being knocked to the ground by a blow to the ear,
was helping me into the store to get assistance.
Something had gone wrong with my leg and I couldn't walk.

The pharmacist said he couldn't help
because it would be admitting liability.
I'm leaning on Misty with broken glasses,
an injured leg, a bent finger, and bleeding like a lawn sprinkler.
I reached across the counter,
grabbed the pencil out of his pocket,
pushed him aside, took some tape from a shelf,
and made a rough splint for my finger.

The next day we went to a walk-in medical clinic
where the doctor put a splint on my finger backwards,
Later I turned it around.

I was on crutches for a couple of months
and the crook went to jail.
We sued the store and came out of it with a nice used car.

Since then I don't forget Valentines Day the way I used to.

Jack Blanchard

    Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan



Grammy Nominees 
Billboard Duet of the Year