Red lights terrify me.
Not the ones that motorists run at intersections or flash atop a police cruiser.
No, I’m talking about the speck of a red light on my phone that signifies I have a voice message waiting.
When people bypass less confrontational forms of communication — such as emails or texts — and demand to talk to a living being, it typically means they want to lay into someone. And that someone is you.
I been on the business end of my share of tongue-lashings over the years, most, if not all, of which were undeserved.
The message I received Friday, however, struck a vastly different tone.
It was from a woman who had read my story about a five-acre playground that is part of a $350 million park under construction in Tulsa.
The voice sounded weak, tired, forlorn. She said her name was Carolyn.
“I’m 88-years-old and will never ever get down to the park playground,” she said. “I appreciate your article so much. I can just imagine how wonderful that is. You paint such a lovely picture.
“Keep up the good work. ”
I was touched — nearly to tears.
I called Carolyn later in the day, intending to thank her for the kind gesture and promise to do anything in my power to get her to that park when it opened.
I dialed the number. Carolyn answered.
She didn’t remember the phone call or what she had said.
Taken aback, I thanked her for reaching out.
I hope she gets to the park someday. The world needs more Carolyns.