Listening

Amylia, AKA – Amazing Grace, wrote about spending time with her grandparents today. (Oh, and I’d never heard the song she posted – made me cry but I’m glad I heard/saw it.) She talked about listening to her grandparents. I commented and then decided to write about it here.

My dad isn’t diagnosed with dementia but, he certainly has moments where he’s somewhat forgetful or just can’t remember.

Last week, a friend from church asked if he could visit dad. His own mom died at the same nursing home last month and he continues to stop by to visit her roommate. My dad thoroughly enjoyed the visit! He couldn’t remember his name, couldn’t remember how he knew him, but told me he hoped he’d come back as they had a great time talking. I talked to my friend later and found that he probably knows more about our family than anyone… since visiting dad… and he told me how much he enjoyed listening to my dad’s stories (and he heard several).

So, my soapbox this evening is that if you’re lucky enough to spend time with older relatives/friends, take the time to listen to them. Let them talk. Let them tell you their stories even if you’ve heard them a million times. I truly believe that they’re sharing a gift with us, and we need to graciously accept that gift.
Shoveled more snow today, this time over at my dad’s house. Our forecast is for mixed stuff tonight and so, the snow had to go – at least off the roof. Damn stuff is frozen, we’re too old to climb up on the roof so used the roof rake and at least got the edges. Well, M did the roof raking and I did some of the deck. After an hour of shoveling the BG was 88 so decided to go home to eat some lunch.

After the mixed stuff tonight, it’s supposed to get into the 40’s tomorrow. If you read about a lunatic in NH dancing in the melting snow, it’ll be me!

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8 Responses to Listening

  1. amylia says:

    ….and your post made me cry!Listening is the best gift you can give–spending time with people when you are in the now and actively listening (not just zoning out thinking about the loads of laundry to be done or how you need to get your hair cut).ACTIVE listening is the key.Thanks for reiterating the reminder.P.S. I love thinking of you dancing in the melting snow.

  2. Naomi says:

    Here in Maryland we’re in the 60’s today. So weird for winter. I’ll try to send some thaw your way! (Although my brother in law who is in N.H. is enjoying the skiing!You are so right — it’s important to listen to our elder relatives. I miss my grandparents so much, and treasure the letters & pictures I have of them. I hear their voices in my mind. Even though I’m grown with kids now, I could still use their advice & loving words!

  3. Donna says:

    I remember when my grandpa was in the nursing home after he broke his hip & how he enjoyed getting visitors. He really appreciated for people to take the time to come see him. I grew up next door to my grandparents so I saw them all the time. They were full of good stories & I always enjoyed spending time with them. They were a treasure. I know your dad is, too.

  4. Jeff says:

    Colleen, you are so right. It’s an important and worthwhile task to preserve our families’ histories and not allow them to be lost with the passing of generations. I have a hundred stories from my grandfather, but I also have a thousand questions that I now wish I had asked him before he died in ’86.

  5. Chris says:

    That is a nice post. Also a very nice picture of the snow on the houses.

  6. Chris says:

    …also i was at my friends funeral today (Archie) and i hadn’t talked to him for close to a year. I dropped by his house this past fall and he wasnt home. It is very very important to preserve relationships and the times when you get complacent (sp) is the very moment you should embrace these people.

  7. Shannon says:

    My grandfather used to tell me all sorts of stories about his childhood in Poland that I tell my kids about now. I miss him.When I was a little girl, I’d make my dad tell me his childhood stories over and over again. And I love listening to stories about family members like his aunts, uncles and cousins.It must be the Irish in me because I can’t get enough of the storytelling.

  8. Allison says:

    Colleen, Thanks for commenting over at my blog! Williamsburg is a great place- We ate at The Trellis in Merchant Square and it was GREAT!

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