Competent and caring. Sharon was all that. And more.
Yesterday, I received a voicemail message (oft, in this quarantine-time, I do not turn my cell phone on, unless, of course, I want or need to talk with you!) from my online pharmaceutical firm: “Please return our call, for it appears that you may be missing out on an important part of your prescription plan benefits.”
In mine aging, I daily take a number of medications. And in these days overshadowed by a global pandemic, health concerns, always important, are elevated to a greater order of priority. Straightway, I called.
Sharon, her voice, equal measures of professional reserve and personable regard, once gathering the obligatory information so to assure that she was talking with Paul Abernathy, walked me through a series of questions. As a perceptibly standardized course of inquiry, doubtless, I thought to myself, she must do this many times each day. Nevertheless, throughout our 10-minute conversation, given her attention to my responses, indeed, to me, not once did I sense that this, for her, was a perfunctory exercise.
Then it happened. The sound of a child’s voice: “Mommy, it’s time for school!”
And an immediate spark of recognition: “Ah, you’re working from home.”
And, in Sharon’s one word, response, “Yes,” I heard another sound. Of mirth. Neither as a telltale signal of reflexive embarrassment of having been found out nor as an acknowledgement of the accuracy of my surmise. But rather, in that instant of summons by the most important person in her life, Sharon, as I intuited the moment, had been reminded of an ever-present necessity of balancing the duty of her occupation with the primacy of her life’s vocation.
Our call ending as professionally as it had begun and had proceeded, we, Sharon and I, each bid the other well: “Thank you and take care.”
And I silently prayed, “Bless you, Sharon, bless you, dear mother.”