We DO Make a Difference – Part 3

We DO Make a Difference – Part 3 

It was September 16, 2002. The reason I remember the date will become apparent later.

That evening, the phone rang. I hadn’t been home for too long. The voice on the other end was Bernie’s. She was calling me from Alberta, 3000 miles away. It had been a year since she tried to get back into high school.

I have to admit that I was initially suspicious. I suspected I was being set up or part of some sort of prank.

I was wrong.

She told me she had been living in Alberta with her boyfriend. Realizing it wasn’t a good relationship, she had just left him. She needed someone to talk to and called me. I was floored.

“Are you OK?”, I asked.


“Do you have a place to go?”

She told me that she had friends who would take he in. Everything was good – she just wanted to talk.

Once I established that she was okay and had a plan, we simply chatted, and we did so for the better part of an hour. She did most of the talking – I simply listened. I couldn’t believe this was happening – it seemed so surreal; but here she was, reaching out to me of all people.

We reached the point where we were struggling for things to talk about.

“Bernie, I’m sorry, but I need to go. Something you don’t realize is that my mother died last night and I have some calls to make and things to get done. I feel really bad ending our call. Can I call you back later in the week?”

She apologized for calling and said that had she known the circumstances, she would not have bothered me. I assured her that I was happy to have talked and was thankful I was home to take her call. I told her that this was a moment I would remember for a long time.

Some time later she wrote me a letter. In it she apologized for her behaviour when in middle school. She said that she now realized that I was on her side and had seen her potential. She thanked me for not giving up on her.

I guess we DO make a difference.


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