The phone buzzes and my husband picks up. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”

It was the annual birthday call from one of his closest friends in Sweden. There are four of them and they have known each other since they were toddlers. They grew up together and they were his best men at our wedding. They all have families and busy lives so I love that they keep this small tradition alive that means a lot to each of them. A birthday call – it’s so simple and beautiful. 

It reminds me of an old poem “Around the corner” (1). We often think of calling on someone and then we get distracted and before you know it, another year has gone.

Whilst it’s probably impossible to do it with everyone if someone comes to your mind, again and again, it probably means it’s time to pick up the phone and have a chat. 

Tying it to an event or time of year, say Birthday, Christmas or New Year often makes it easier to remember. You can also pick any date and put a reminder in your calendar. Maybe you can set aside a Sunday evening to catch up with people. Another tip is to schedule the next call for a few months or half a year’s time at the end of the call.

However you decide, let someone know you are thinking of them – a call is always appreciated.


  1. Around the Corner by Charles Hanson Towne

Around the corner, I have a friend,

In this great city that has no end;

Yet days go by, and weeks rush on,

And before I know it, a year is gone,

And I never see my old friend’s face,

For Life is a swift and terrible race.

He knows I like him just as well

As in the days when I rang his bell

And he rang mine. We were younger then,

And now we are busy, tired men:

Tired with playing a foolish game,

Tired with trying to make a name.

“Tomorrow,” I say, “I will call on Jim,

Just to show that I’m thinking of him.”

But tomorrow comes–and tomorrow goes,

And the distances between us grows and grows.
Around the corner!–yet miles away . . .
“Here’s a telegram, sir . . .”

“Jim died today.”

And that’s what we get, and deserve in the end:

Around the corner, a vanished friend.