Today I laid claim to Mom and Dad's phone number. Since I don't live in Rome, I can't have an actual number because there's no actual address to link it to--but I can have a standalone voice mailbox, which means that whenever anyone calls the old home number, they'll get a chance to leavea message.
Cole and Christy had the phone number for a while after Dad passed, but when they switched to Comcast, they weren't able to port the number over, and they lost it. When ATT contacted me about another matter, I asked what I might do about reclaiming that phone number, since it hadn't been assigned yet. Initially, no one really knew what to do--then I heard from a remarkable ATT rep named Lisa, who had not one but two possible solutions. The memory call seemed like the better of the two solutions (and the more affordable), so here we are. As of now, 234-5781 is once again the Biggers phone number.
Can't say why this is important to me, really, but it is. I had always thought of that as our real "home number," in that it was the one number that had belonged to all of us--Mom, Dad, Kim, me, and Susan. Back when Susan and I couldn't afford our own phone, Mom and Dad were good enough to act as a surrogate phone service for us; people could call and leave messages (and back in the early 1970s, that meant someone had to physically write the message down, because Mom and Dad didn't have an answering machine--did they even make answering machines in 1971-1973?) and Mom or Dad would relay the info the next time they talked to me.
And today, I realized that this number has been the Biggers number for fifty years now. Mom and Dad first got this phone number way back in 1958, when all of north Georgia had the 404 area code, no one had dreamed of mobile phones, and we were making our first home in Rome. Fifty years... one number... and now it's ours again.