Yes, that was the phrase I heard for many a times in my life! I think it’s interesting that this really started when I left to go to college in 1978. Each time that I would leave home to go back to school Dad would say to me, “Call Us when you get back”! When I got back to the dorm I would go to the pay phone on the floor and call them collect. The Operator would reply to my Mom or Dad, “collect call for Jerry Elder, Will you accept the charges”? They would state, “No”! That was our signal and notice that I had made it back to college safely.
That changed after a bit… they started accepting them, Mom would talk for a bit and then Dad. The conversations grew and the time got longer. (sorta wish we had cell phones then).
It never failed, each time I would be some place or speaking some where, they always said, “call us when you get back”. I did…most of the time.
There was that one time when the family, (Pam, Danae and I) got home particularly late. I knew that they would have been in bed, so I did not call. “I will wait till the morning”! About midnight the phone rang, I answered it and, that’s right, Dad was on the other end saying he was concerned because I had not called back. I reassured him all was okay, but from that moment on, I always called back no matter what time.
The “call back” turned into a habit on Sunday nights at 9:30. The day of worship and activities was over and it was time to settle down at home. I would call the house and the first ring wouldn’t get out before Dad answered.
His answering of the phone was ALWAYS funny no matter who called!
If it were football season and I called it was always “Roll Tide” when Alabama won. When they lost the answer was “Slide Tide” and then he would discuss the previous days game!
Most of the other times it was answered, “alright”!
If that phone didn’t ring at 9:30, Mom said he would start to get antsy, and then concerned. “He always calls at this time” She had to keep him patient. A LOT!!!
The discussions were simple: How was worship? How is Pam? Where is the baby? Put her on the phone!
After the discussions of fixing the worlds problems and saving the USA and talking about the greatest granddaughter in the world, he would always just say “call back” and hang up!
I did, every Sunday night at 9:30…
As I write this at January 19th, 2016 at 12:08am, in a few minutes Dad will have been gone, 5 years.
I miss him… a lot.
I miss talking to him and hearing him say “Roll Tide” He would have done that 14 times this year and there would have only been 1 “Slide Tide”!
I miss talking to him about the Lords church and to share with him some of the great things that are being done at Spring Meadows (I think he would have liked you, Dale Jenkins)!
I miss talking to him about Moms eating habits, her contrariness his love for her. (she misses talking to him too)
I miss telling him about how great Pam is and that she still puts up with me! I miss telling him thank you for telling me “She’s the one son”, “Don’t let her get away”
He was right! And still is!
I miss telling him the awesome things that Danae is doing, with her teaching, coaching and mission work! I miss him saying, “tell the baby, I love her”!
I miss 9:30 Sunday nights.
I will talk to you when I get back to where you are!
Love you Dad!