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During Phone Call With Sick Wife, Bus Passenger Stands and Sings, Others Sing Along in Support - Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Jul 20, 2022
04:10 P.M.
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A man receives an urgent phone call and starts singing on the bus, and after he explains why, the other passengers sing along.

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Henry Coulton sat in the bus and watched the miles go past. He was still hundreds of miles away from his destination, from where he had to be, from the people who needed him.

He had left Arizona at dawn and caught the Greyhound to Los Angeles. Henry knew it would be at least eight hours before he was by his wife's side.

Henry was still hours away from his wife in Los Angeles. | Source: Unsplash

Henry was still hours away from his wife in Los Angeles. | Source: Unsplash

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All around him, the other passengers seemed oblivious to his anguish. Most were on their phones, swiping and muttering to themselves, like the girl with blue hair and an enormous nose ring.

Others, like the older woman wearing a straw hat, seemed like time travelers from another era, busily knitting something in bright purple wool even though it was 95ºF outside.

People pray in different ways: some kneel, and others sing -- but God hears them all.

He wondered where they were going, and what was waiting for them at the end of their journey. Tears pricked his eyes. His wife, Delia, was in Los Angeles visiting her mother when she fell ill.

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At first, it didn't seem to be anything serious. Delia told him so on the phone. "Hun, I'm OK!" she'd protested. "It's just a stomach bug I caught somewhere! Don't worry!"

And so Henry hadn't worried until he noticed that she was paler and thinner when they Zoomed. "You need to go to the doctor!" Herry insisted. "And you need to go now!"

Delia had gone to the doctor who had ordered a battery of tests. "Henry, please don't worry," she assured. "You know my mom has money. She's paying for all the tests..."

Henry was frightened and alone in the midst of strangers. | Source: Unsplash

Henry was frightened and alone in the midst of strangers. | Source: Unsplash

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Henry shook his head. "I should be paying," he said bitterly. "I should be the one taking care of you!"

"Come on, Henry," Delia said in her reasonable voice. "You were out of work for two years. We are only now getting back on our feet. My mom knows that!"

So Henry had shrugged and accepted what felt to him like charity. Delia was right. Times were hard but they had managed to keep their home when so many others had lost theirs.

Henry had a new job, and it was going well. His only worry was Delia's health. The worry escalated to fear when Delia called three days later with the diagnosis.

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The doctors had discovered that there was something wrong with Delia's left lung. Henry didn't understand the medical terms, all he remembered was the words 'sizeable tumor'

"But you never smoked!" Henry protested. "That's impossible!"

But it was possible. The doctors didn't want to wait. The longer they waited, the higher the risk. They were operating immediately, so Henry got on the Greyhound.

Henry's wife asked him to sing her favorite song. | Source: Unsplash

Henry's wife asked him to sing her favorite song. | Source: Unsplash

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He knew he wasn't going to be there to hold Delia's hand, and that was what was hurting him the most. "I love her, Lord," he whispered. "Please...please..."

Henry was too frightened to say the words that were pounding through his brain, even to himself. "Don't let Delia die." He looked out of the window so the other passengers wouldn't see the tears pouring down his cheeks.

That was when his phone rang. "Henry?" he heard Delia's beloved voice. "Baby, I'm going into the OR in a little while, so I wanted to hear your voice..."

Henry said, "I wish I was there, holding your hand."

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"I wish you were here," Delia replied. "Singing our song."

"Me too," Henry said. "But I can sing it now, if you like..."

The other passengers started singing too. | Source: Unsplash

The other passengers started singing too. | Source: Unsplash

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Delia giggled. "You're going to sing our song on a bus?"

Henry took a deep breath. "Yes, I am!" Then he got to his feet and held the phone up so the other passengers could see it. "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to be interrupting your peace and quiet.

"Please be patient. My wife, Delia, is in the hospital in Los Angeles and she's about to go into surgery, so I'm going to be singing her favorite song..."

Henry started singing, "When you're down and troubled, and you need some lovin' care, and nothin', nothin' is goin' right..." He kept singing through the first verse, then he had a huge surprise!

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Just like a well-rehearsed choir, the other passengers started singing too! "Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, and I'll be there, you've got a friend..."

Henry was laughing and crying at the same time. He shouted into the phone, "Delia, can you hear them? They're all singing for you, baby! You're going to be just fine!"

Henry shared the good news about Delia's surgery. | Source: Pexels

Henry shared the good news about Delia's surgery. | Source: Pexels

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When the song ended, Henry had to hang up. They were wheeling Delia into the OR. Henry stood up and shook hands with every passenger and the driver, thanking them for their support.

Then he did the hardest thing any man ever had to do: wait. Never had time seemed to go by so slowly for Henry. Finally, four hours later, the phone rang.

Henry grabbed it. "Hello?" he gasped anxiously. It was his mother-in-law. She said that Delia was out of surgery and that the doctors said it had been a success!

"She's going to be alright, Henry!" Delia's mom sobbed. "Our girl is going to be just fine!"

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Henry started sobbing too, and the girl with the blue hair jumped to her feet. "Hey man, are you OK?" she asked.

Henry nodded and managed to gasp, "She's out of surgery, and she's going to be OK! She's OK!"

Everyone on the bus started clapping. | Source: Pexels

Everyone on the bus started clapping. | Source: Pexels

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To Henry's astonishment, the passengers were jumping to their feet, hollering and whistling and clapping for all they were worth. All that Henry could do was grin.

"Thank you!" he cried. "Thank you..."

He took the joyous sound of the applause with him, ringing in his ears. When he was finally by Delia's side, holding her hand, he knew the world was a place of miracles, where strangers became loving friends.

What can we learn from this story?

  • We are all in this world together, afflicted by the same sorrows. Henry's fellow passengers offered him what support they could, because they had all known what it was like to feel powerless and afraid for the life of a loved one.
  • People pray in different ways: some kneel, and others sing -- but God hears them all. Henry sang the song for his wife as a prayer for her survival and to give her courage.
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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a little girl who comes to the hospital every night to sing a lullaby to a sick elderly woman.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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