"You have three unplayed messages," the robotic female voice informed me.
I listened to the first two, which were boring Personal Training related calls. Then I pressed "7" to hear the third.
"Hey, Liz, It's Tara," said a familiar voice. "I'm sorry I haven't called you all week. It's been really tough around here. We had a sudden death in the family. You remember my brother John and Trish who you met in the Fall?" (John's her oldest brother, he's 40. He's big into Fitness and his fiance Trish is a Fitness Director at a BSC location. Tara had me over to meet them one night for dinner in November when we were dating) "Well, John died suddenly over the weekend. His heart gave out. They're not sure exactly what happened, but he collapsed at work and they couldn't revive him..."
Shocked, I hit the button to start the message again and turned my car stereo down.
I couldn't believe it! John was the perfect picture of health and fitness! The message continued, "My Mom and I would like it if you came to the funeral tomorrow. It's at 10:00 a.m..."
After the message finished out I dialed Tara's number. Tara told me how her family has a long history of heart trouble. Her Dad had died at 52, Tara's sister is in her mid-thirties and has a pace maker, and Tara's on Beta Blockers. I'm not too sure about her other brother. (The other one lives in NYC and is an actor)
On the third ring Tara picked up the phone. "Hello?" She sounded tired.
"Hi, Tara," I said. "It's Liz."
"I got your message from last night. I had to listen to it twice. I can't believe it!" I said. "I will definitely come tomorrow. Just tell me where I need to be and at what time, okay?"
After we cleared that up, I asked her some general questions. Then I asked her about her Mom. I did not ask to speak to her though because I'm sure she's had enough "I'm sorry" telephone calls already.
Tara lowered her voice. "Mom's devastated. She's in total shock. She's dealt with a lot of deaths this year."
"And I'm sure the death of her own son is hitting her the hardest," I said.
"Yeah," Tara sighed. "Liz, it's awful..."
We talked for a little while longer and then she said she'd e-mail me instructions for tomorrow. The funeral's pretty far away, so I wound up cancelling all of my Friday a.m. clients, with the exception of my 6:30 a.m.
I still can't believe he died. He was way, WAY too young. I can't even fathom the pain Tara's family is suffering right now.