” I Just Called to Say I Love You”

Long, Long Distance

Dear Reader:

When Stevie Wonder wrote, sang, and performed his mega hit -” I just called to say ” I love You” he had no way of knowing how the idea of calls to loved ones could continue to bring such comfort. No ” wonder” … the loved ones have passed away.

How many times, I remember wanting to call my mother, soon after she passed, when something good happened-I still wanted to make her proud and in those few seconds it took for reality to kick into my consciousness, I felt sadly isolated and alone.

Corey Demback first heard about the idea of a Wind Phone -created in Japan out of the 2011 devastating tsunami, from the news. Survivors started flocking to a small phone booth high on a hill, put there months earlier by a man who wanted to talk to a loved one who had died of cancer.

For all the lost souls who the sea never returned, that “Telephone of the Wind” became one of the few places to offer a kind of inexplicable solace.

The ” Telephone of the Wind” in Japan

When Dembeck heard about it, it stuck for reasons he still doesn’t know. ” I just thought it would be perfect now and as far as I know, at the time, there wasn’t one I knew of in the United States.

It makes no logical sense, to dial a phone connected to nothing and yet for countless families… speaking their grief aloud and to the wind seems to offer a kind of connection that heals.

Erin Sylvester , who lost a daughter, thinks that one of the most dangerous things one can do is keep one’s feelings locked up inside.

Something so simple, an old rotary phone in a tree, it’s just crazy how much impact it has made. ” Just called to say I Love You!”

Washington State Park-A Source of Solace

So until tomorrow…Whispers in the Wind -you might not hear them… unless you listen.

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

My grandchildren’s maple trees, now turned red, and more fall beauty in my garden

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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3 Responses to ” I Just Called to Say I Love You”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Becky…I smiled when I read your entry today because our family would call my parents and sing that song once a week….and at Blake’s wedding we gathered around my Mother and held hands and sang it to her. Your Japanese maples are lovely…ours was the prettiest it has ever been this year…sweet reminder of my sister Suzy❤


  2. Janet Bender says:

    What a sweet, comforting idea. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of these in every state & country in a lovely, sacred, accessible spot in God’s creation —especially this year after so many loved ones have been lost to the pandemic? A “blessing box” of a different type…


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