December 3, 2012

Stop, Sit and Listen

Memaw's back at my house this week. She sits in her familiar spot reading and resting. This time I knelt down next to her, reading a picture book like I did last time she visited and afterwards, just sat there. I didn't say anything. I didn't rush to get something done. I smiled at her and waited.

She sat quiet for a few minutes, then began to talk. She asked me about some items sitting in the room. "Do you sew on that machine?" she asked. I admitted I haven't sewn much. "Who's coat is that? It's pretty." I explained it was my husband's.
She paused for a long time. Usually, that's my cue to get up. But this time I decided to just wait and see what happened. In a bit, she started talking again. She told me stories of her childhood. Some I'd heard many times and others I didn't remember. I listened. She paused again for a long time, and then just like before, started talking again. She asked me about my kids (in the adjoining room) and my husband; she even inquired after his mother. This interaction went on for over an hour--the longest conversation since I started helping with her. It felt like we were in the past, visiting. Slower, but steady.
She finally did tire and reached for her Bible. But I noticed for the rest of the evening, she wore a faint smile. It reminded me of when I've had an outing with a friend or quality time with my husband; I find myself smiling as I go about my work.

I mulled it over and thought about all those times she's come to my house when I've been busy, in a hurry, or too rushed to wait. Isn't that how we are? We rush, we hurry, we run past things that matter.
As the days have passed, I've continued paying attention. I now see what I missed before. She wants to talk, I just didn't listen long enough. I wasn't giving her the time it takes for her to process. I was rushing a slowed-down mind in my hurry-up world. I'm thankful for her presence to remind me to soak in each moment; to stop, sit and listen.

13 comments :

  1. A beautiful reminder. Thanks for sharing this : )

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  2. a lovely post, makes you think. Heather x

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  3. Beautiful post Catherine. I needed this reminder as I am dealing with circumstances where it is easy to lose patience. Thank you for reminding me about listening and remembering the importance of others.

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    1. Oh Lisa, I know that's hard. *Hugs* I'm glad it helped.

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  4. This post is really touching. Thanks for reminding us to notice the beautiful things around us!

    Duaa

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    1. So glad it touched you, Duaa. Thanks for your kind words.

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  5. catherine, this post touched me, as well... your words are so very true... that is what it is all about... for everybody.. sharing our time, connecting, just sharing our hearts with each other. that is what life is all about.. and to listen.. truly listen and be able to understand what the other person is going through.. i hope that you and your family are having a great weekend.... janet

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    1. Yes, you put it well Janet, that's what it's all about. And yet, I so quickly jump back into speed mode and forget when Memaw leaves. Thanks for helping me remember once again. :D

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