weekend story. (Please forgive the apparent tense shifts - I'm just being lazy)
Background: My son married a girl from our ward. That's all you really need to know - it will become key.
Story: We own a dog named Buddy. He was given to my middle daughter for her 9th birthday, but he's been taken care of by everybody over the years. He's over 13 years old, lost most of his teeth, seems to be going blind, hard of hearing, shakes when he first stands up, can't control his bladder (he was never really good at this but got much worse lately).
After work on Friday, I hook Buddy up to his outside cable (we have no fence, so we have a 20-25' cable for him to wander around on). He's outside for a while, my wife comes home from shopping and I help her bring in the groceries. I go outside to let Buddy in and find the cable stretched tight and find Buddy had fallen into the window well and had hung himself. I tell my wife and my youngest daughter at home. My wife calls my oldest daughter and tells her the news and tells her to go find her middle sister - we were NOT going to tell her by text or even over the phone. She needed someone to be there to break the news. Both my wife and my oldest daughter separately text my son (who's at work) to call home when he's on break. My oldest daughter tracks down middle daughter in the Lee Library (no small feat) and takes her outside to give her the news. She's obviously distraught. They come home and we all begin the grieving process - all in our own way. This all happens about 6-6:30 in the evening.
My son calls at about 10PM and talks to my oldest daughter. At first, she's talking to him on her cell phone and says, "I can barely hear you, let me call you back on the home phone." (first clue - it's noisy where he's calling from) So she goes into my bedroom, where my wife is and calls.
Daughter - "Buddy had an accident. He fell into the window well and hung himself."
Son - "Is he okay?"
Daughter - "No, he's DEAD, he's GONE!"
Son - "well, I'd better leave and go get (his wife). I think I can get away early without any troubles. I'll just talk to my manager."
Daughter - "Well, you don't have to worry about that, just come out at the end of your shift."
Son - "No, I need to come."
So my daughter calls me into the bedroom and she, my wife and I laugh at my son's question after being told that Buddy hung himself - "Is he okay"? We have a good laugh about it.
About 10:30PM, we are sitting in the family room and a knock comes at the door (kind of late for visitors, but whatever). My wife and youngest daughter go and answer and it's my bishop and the EQP (who happens to also be my son's FIL). I hear my bishop's voice but not necessarily the conversation.
Bishop - "Is it true? Where is he? Where is (ByuMba90)?"
Upon hearing my name, I come walking in to greet my friend. I see shock and surprise on their faces. I get hugs and exclamations of "we were told you were dead!!!"
In the noise at his job, my son misheard my oldest daughter's phone call. He heard her say "Daddy".
Right after my son received the phone call, he calls his wife with the bad news that his dad fell in the window well and hung himself and was dead. His MIL was at his apartment with his wife as they are packing to be moving in a few weeks. Wife freaks out, telling her mom who calls her husband (again, the EQP) who then calls the bishop.
Only after we have a good laugh that I'm not dead, we figure out had that message had gotten to the outside world. My wife calls my son, who is in tears (like he NEVER is) and I hear her conversation:
Wife - "Dad is okay. It was BUDDY! B-U-D-D-Y! The dog!"
At that point I realize I need to take the phone from her and talk to him. He doesn't share much emotion - when he was in the MTC and we had to call him to tell him is grandpa died, it was like we had to force him into crying, and then it was just a little waver of the voice. He was sobbing!
Well, we finally got it all straightened out, but not before my son spent 20-30 minutes thinking his dad was dead - and that it happened just before Father's Day - and that I would never get to meet my first grandchild and my first grandchild would never get to meet me.
Amidst tears at the actual loss of our sweet, stupid dog, we've shared many laughs over the past couple days. I guess my son's FIL (again, the EQP) wished everyone a Happy Father's Day and that (ByuMba90's son) was particularly happy to have a father and then "made" him tell everyone. So I got several brethren coming up to me after church welcoming me back from the dead. I stood as a firm testimony that the resurrection is real and that the game of Telephone/Gossip is just as real and true.