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A Phone Call to Heaven

Story ID:6762
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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I have mentioned my wonderful wife, Roz, in several of my stories and I think I should tell you a little about her.

Roz is an American born Chinese and has a pharmacy degree from Drake University. How she fell for me, I will never quite understand except I think it was an act of God.

I wrote this story and a couple of years ago, I delivered it to the congregation at my Lutheran Church during a Lenten event.
I hope you enjoy it.

A Phone Call to Heaven
By Chuck Dishno

The story I am about to tell you happened about 40 years ago and although I didn’t realize it at the time, I believe it is when God re-entered my life.

Early in 1968 I was leading a miserable life. My wife of 12 years had decided she wanted something bigger and better. Better I can understand better as it was a no brainer, but bigger, well that’s another story. After two failed attempts at reconciliation, divorce seemed inevitable. I was not in favor of my life being disrupted but it seemed I had no voice in the matter. We had two children, ages 6 & 9 but that didn’t seem to matter to her. At her insistence I had moved out and was living in a small apartment that I had rented. I looked forward to Fridays when I would pick up my kids for the weekend. To keep from being so lonely I took on a couple extra jobs along with my regular job printing for Fresno County. I literally lived for the weekends.

This situation went along for several months but after a while I felt the need for some social life.

About this time a friend, who was a square dance instructor, stopped me on the street and told me of a singles square dance club that he had recently started. My wife and I had square danced for several years and he thought I might enjoy visiting his new club and meet some of the people. I thought this was a good opportunity for me to get back into the swing of things. Little did I know how it would change my life.

The next Thursday, I put on my square dance garb and drove over to the National Smooth Dancers Hall, where the singles class was being held. When I opened the door, I was taken back at what I saw.

The place was filled with people of all description. I can only imagine what I looked like to them. I was soon welcomed in and joined right in with their beginning dances. I was having a great time and seemed to be a help to some of those who were struggling.

After a few dances, the front door opened up and the most beautiful lady I had ever seen, walked in. Everyone greeted her as Roz and I couldn’t wait to meet her and get into a square with her. It was break time so I introduced myself to her and asked for the next dance. We seemed to hit it off from the start. When the evening ended I told her goodnight and watched her walk out the door. I was hoping I would see her again the next Thursday.

The following Thursday, I was the first on the scene and kept my one eye glued on that front door.

After what seemed like a long wait, the door opened and Roz entered. I had already made up my mind what I was going to do, so I took off on a dead run across the floor and slid up to her and asked for the first dance. My only fear was that she would step aside and I would slide right into the arms of one of the other dancers. But God was on my side and my timing was perfect. In retrospect, I don’t know whether God was rewarding me or punishing Roz but I like to think it was the former, rather than the latter.
She accepted my invitation and we danced several dances together. During the breaks we got to know each other even more. I desperately wanted to date her but she seemed reluctant. I think part of the reason was the fact that I was Caucasian and she was Chinese and she was also 8 years older than I was. None of this made any difference to me…I was smitten.

During our conversations we found out that we both loved ballroom dancing. These square dances were being held in the National Smooth Dancers Hall and naturally they had a jukebox along one wall. While everyone else was cleaning up the hall after the evening session Roz and I would go over to the jukebox, feed it a couple or quarters and dance off across the floor to a few good old fox trots. Then it was time for my newfound partner to disappear through the door again.

I made up my mind that I was going to get a date with this beautiful lady somehow.

The next week I finally talked her into at least meeting me for a cup of coffee after work. She agreed and after that mini-date we made or first real dinner date. The date was November 8, 1968.

I took Roz to my favorite dinner restaurant where we enjoyed a leisurely steak dinner. After dinner we had a couple of hours to kill before we had to meet a school bus and pick up her daughter, Bobbie, who was returning from some school function.

Bobbie was a senior in high school. She seemed very happy to meet me. We took Bobbie home and she made it clear that if I were going to date her mom that I had to have her home by 12pm so she wouldn’t worry. After that I began to refer to Roz as Cinder-Roz.

Roz and I started to see each other on a regular basis and at each meeting we were becoming fonder of each other.

All went well through November and most of December until that dreaded day came around when all families should be together - Christmas Day.

Roz was going to spend Christmas with her siblings at their annual Christmas party. She didn’t invite me though since I had not yet met any of her brothers and sisters and I’m sure it was too soon to spring a one-eyed Caucasian on them.

My wife was taking our two kids to Lodi, California to spend Christmas with her sister.

That left me alone, well not really alone, as my widowed Mother was living in Fresno too and we were going to spend the day together. Somehow it was not the same though and then I got the bright idea, I think God planted it into my brain, to call my sister-in law in Lodi and invite my Mom and myself to spend Christmas Day with them and my kids. For some reason she agreed with my request. I told my Mom that I would pick her up early Christmas morning and we would drive the 150 miles to Lodi. She wasn’t too thrilled with the idea but looked forward to seeing her

Early Christmas morning I picked Mom up and we made it to Lodi about 11am. When I walked through the front door of my sister-in-laws house I realized what a mistake I had made. With the exception of my kids, were treated like a couple of lepers. Naturally the kids were happy to see us and we gave them their presents.

Everyone had already had Christmas so we just sat around being ignored. Finally my sister-in-law invited us to stay and have Christmas dinner with them in a couple of hours. We said we would then just sat on the living room couch like a couple of bumps on a log and watched the kids playing with their toys. About 2pm we were called to sit down and eat dinner. The dinner was great and we actually were treated better.

After dinner Mom and I retired back to our positions on the couch. Here again, I think God nudged me as I felt some bladder pressure building up. Who says God doesn’t act in mysterious ways?

I got up to use the bathroom off the master bedroom and as soon as I walked through the bedroom door, something caught my eye. Beside the bed, on the nightstand, was a telephone. Something pushed me to that phone (God again?) and I picked up the receiver and without even bothering to reverse the charges I dialed that familiar number in Fresno. I was hoping that Roz had not yet left for her sister’s house.

After several anxious rings, the most beautiful voice I had ever heard answered and an entire new world was rapidly opening up before me, a world where knew I would never be lonely again.

I explained my situation to Roz and she said she and her two kids were just leaving for her sister’s house but should be back by about 10pm and if I could make it I should come on over. I told her that I would be there and said goodbye.

I literally floated out of that room on a Heavenly Cloud. I don’t even remember if I used the bathroom or not. I went over to my Mom, leaned over to her and said, “Come on Mom, we’re going home.” I think she could tell from the look on my face that something wonderful had happened. We then thanked everyone for the day, told my kids that I would see them on the weekend and that were heading home.

We then went out to my 1965 Dodge Dart and headed back to Fresno. I think I broke the world’s speed record covering that 150 miles in record time.

When we got back to Fresno, I dropped Mom off at her apartment. She wanted me to stay but I told her I had to get back to my apartment to clean up, change clothes and my date with destiny.

I have always tried to be a very prompt person believing in the old adage that “promptness is a virtue” and this was to be no exception. After I had cleaned up and put on a coat and tie, I sat at the kitchen table and watched that minute hand slowly creep toward my appointed hour.

God was really with me now and my timing was perfect. Just as I drove up to Roz’s curb she was pulling into her driveway. I got out of my car and was greeted by Roz and her kids and invited into the house. I was truly “home” now. Even her dog, Taffy, seemed to “wag” me in.

After that wonderful evening, Roz and I began to see each other on a daily basis. I couldn’t be happier- once again I felt truly loved and God had found a wonderful partner for me.

About a year and a half later, Roz and I were married (with the blessing of our children and families, with the possible exception of my ex-wife) at the Grace Lutheran Church in Balboa Park in San Diego.

This all happened over 40 years ago and now as we are cruising through our “twilight years” I like to think back of all the wonderful things that happened and God’s role in the outcome. I like to go even as far back to when He inspired Alexander Graham Bell to invent that marvelous instrument, the telephone, that allowed me to reach out through 150 miles of telephone line, and touch the hand of an Angel.

I am hoping that Roz and I have many more years together before we take that final walk through those Pearly Gates and into Eternity.

If for some reason, I am denied entrance into Heaven, perhaps for some past transgression, I will be sad but I can take solace in the fact that for over 40 years, I have had “Heaven” right here on earth”

I know God is not through with me yet. I like to compare it to that proverbial donkey cart, where the driver is holding a carrot out in front of the donkey to make him go faster and where he wants. I think God is holding a “Heavenly Carrot” out in front of me to give me guidance and direction. I will follow.

Thank you, my friends for accepting me. Thank you Roz, for loving me and thank you God, for being there when I needed you most.
Chuck Dishno