Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Listening over coffee...

Today has been a good one. If you know me, you know that any good day begins with waking up and drinking top notch coffee. The person who made it for me always makes the best java. She must take her coffee seriously just like me. Feeling awake, I called the Observer at work. I know he's always busy, but last night he didn't call to say goodnight as he usually does. I told him that, " I wanted to make sure he was still alive." I was joking, but did want to check in. As I thought, he fell asleep and didn't hear the phone. I'm glad that I didn't wake him up. After breakfast I stopped into the drugstore to pick up medication. The customer service desk was very helpful. I have dealt with the same guy many times and he's always more than willing to see that I get what I need. Good service makes such a difference.


I had coffee with a friend later in the day. On my way to meet her, the sky looked grey, but the rain held off. I'm grateful when the rain waits until evening. I was late arriving at the coffee shop. My friend thought I stood her up. It felt awful to hear that. If I ever stand someone up without cancelling ahead, it would be because of some emergency like an accident, illness, or the crisis of a family member or friend. Never would I leave someone waiting for me without calling to explain or update. Hopefully all of my friends know that I am not a baler.



Once I found my friend, she seemed so pleased and relieved to see me which made me feel important. It's been a while since we have seen each other. Somewhere inside, I had a hunch that she may need a friend. The last time we chatted, I learned that my friend's father needs surgery to remove a brain tumor. He's had surgery before, but I am amusing the tumour grew back. Understandably, my friend is very worried about her father. She's been stressed out and emotional and admitted to needing a good listener. Hopefully my ears did their job. Listening isn't always as easy as we think. There is temptation to interrupt, talk about oneself and give advice. Admittedly, I probably did some of that today, but I was glad we saw each other. Listening to a friend feels productive. My friend told me that she has few peers to talk to. I am sad for her. Every one needs at least one five-star friend and maybe one or two to fill in the gaps. At the end of our visit, I told my friend that I am praying for her and to call me anytime. Hopefully, she knows I mean it. We hugged a tight hug that we both needed.



The friend I saw today is my second friend whose parent is having major surgery. In two weeks, my best friend's Mom is having a mass removed. I am worried for both of my friend's families. They are so concerned. After my Mom's heart attack, I know how earth shattering any health scare involving a parent is. As our families age, we are experiencing health crisis more frequently. The complications of parents getting older is bittersweet. On one hand, we are lucky that our parents are alive to enjoy each day, but on the hand, it's hard to watch those we love struggle with health issues. It's a blessing that we can help and relate to one and another. I feel for my sweet friends.



Checking my machine after coming home, there was a message from Dad saying he was thinking of me. Dad ate the bread I just brought home and wanted to tell me that it was tasty. Hearing his voice, I was grateful for his good health. Before sleep tonight, I will pray for both of my friends as they anxiously wait for their parents to have surgery. After that, I will thank Mother Nature for holding off the rain. Lastly, I will thank God for my wonderful Dad who is healthy and likes the spelt bread I pondered over buying at the grocery store. Life can be complex, stressful and heartbreaking. Somehow though, simple things remind us that life will provide what we need. Sometimes it's as basic as a good loaf of bread.

- OCG

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