“Why Call Julie?” Ensign, Apr. 1999, 61
It was the day before Mother’s Day, and I was putting away the last plate from the dishwasher. Now I can relax, I thought. My three sons had completed their Saturday chores, my husband was out, and the rest of the afternoon was mine. As I stood at the kitchen window gazing out at the peaceful day, I mentally listed my options: reading, taking a nap, or watching television.
The thought entered my mind that I should call my friend Julie. I walked across the kitchen and placed my hand on the phone, but I was confused. “Why should I call Julie?” I asked out loud. The thought persisted. Finally I realized the Holy Spirit was counseling me, so I dialed Julie’s number.
I said a quick prayer: “Please help me, Lord, to know what to say.” Then Julie picked up the phone and said, “Hello.”
“Julie, this is Ruth,” I said. “Are you busy?”
“No, not really,” she said.
“It’s a beautiful day, and I wondered if you’d like to go for a ride,” I said. “I just bought two big, juicy oranges that we could eat in the canyon.”
There was silence on the other end of the phone, and for a moment I doubted my prompting to call. Then Julie said, “Yes, I believe I’ll go.”
“Good,” I said with a sigh of relief. “I’ll pick you up in a few minutes.”
As we drove to the canyon, we talked about our children and our daily activities. Then when we neared a picnic area, I realized why I had called Julie. Her mother had recently died, and tomorrow would be Julie’s first Mother’s Day without her.
My mother had died five years earlier after a valiant battle with cancer. It was a time of pain and sadness for me. For several months after the funeral, though, a friend had cared enough to listen as I shared memories of my mother. I felt that perhaps Julie needed that same kind of support.
As we sat at a picnic table peeling our oranges, I expressed my love for Julie and my appreciation for her friendship. Then I said: “Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and I realize you must be missing your mother. My mother has been gone for many years, and I still think of her and miss her—especially on Mother’s Day. Julie, would you like to talk about your mom? I would love to tell you about my mother too.”
Tears filled her eyes as she looked up at me. “Oh Ruth, I miss her so much. Thank you for asking me to come. I need to talk about her.”
Julie looked down at her hands thoughtfully while she peeled the orange. As she expressed her deeper feelings of love for her mother and talked about past experiences they had shared, I sensed layers of emotion peeling away too.
Silently I thanked Heavenly Father for the prompting I had heeded to call Julie. I was grateful too for the opportunity to talk about my own mother with Julie and to listen to her tender reflections. I realized how important each of us is to Heavenly Father and how He sometimes works in marvelous ways to fill our needs.