Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Listening is so rewarding.

This Lady is listening intently to her companion.

Tonight I received a telephone call from a fairly new friend-we have known each other about 8 years.  She is 93, and as they say "sharp as a tack!".  She volunteered to do an ongoing service project of sewing comfort dolls for children that are donated to hospitals, ambulance services, etc. And we have delighted in each other's company-I hope just as much for her as for me. We have visited in each other's homes, talked on the phone, and I always have her on my card list.  Tonight when she called to thank me for the Thanksgiving card (isn't that a sweet thing to do?), we started talking about homes that she has lived in during her time in this town.  At one point when she was a young Mother, now remember, she is 93, so this would be at least 65 years ago, well, the economy was even more difficult for workers than it is now.  She moved from place to place with her husband and 4 kids, renting very small places, and making it work.
At one point, they were able to buy a small parcel of land, and her husband put up a basement and upper shell of the house.  Unfortunately, that is the extent of what he was able to build.  For the next 4 years-the entire family lived in the basement.  Even though she and her husband were working hard, times were difficult.  Her son had a serious accident, in leg traction for an extended period.  No one had health insurance then, so the medical bills were all paid by the patient/family.  They became so in debt, they had to sell there house the year after the upstairs was finished-and the selling price was $6,500.  That house is still standing, and being used as a parsonage for one of the town churches. 
The little family then moved to the back apartment of another home, where they rented a very small space.  Another move led them to rent a "magnificent in size" home, where she didn't even mind that she had almost no furniture- it was such a joy to be able to move around in the house, for her children to have room to run.  And this dream home?  It rented for $75. a month.  
My SFriend told all of this without an ounce of bitterness or sadness, just stating what she and so many others went though in their lifetime. I think  she spends 99% of her time serving and doing for others, because as she said to me on the telephone call she first made to me after reading a newspaper article that I placed asking for volunteers to make these dolls "I told the Lord that when my husband died in 1983, I was so heartbroken and he would need to keep me busy helping others so I wouldn't be so sad".
My life is enriched daily by listening to others.  Sometimes, I am the world's worst at listening, other times, I am more focused.  I once heard it said that in order to learn you need to first be quiet and listen-now I know how true that is.
Thanks for listening SFriends.


Margaret Hall said...

First, let me say that I was enthralled reading your posting this morning...You write with such sincerity and clarity that the reader "knows what you know"...This friend of yours sounds like someone that would be a friend to all...Indeed, "hearing" of another's past can fill our senses with wonderment as they reminise...Thank you for an interesting read, SFriend...Hugz...♥

sally said...

SMargaret, you are a friend to all, and a cherished one at that. Thank you for being part of my life.