Sometimes Just Listening Is The Best

First of all, I’m a talker. I tell stories and jokes, keep the conversation going, ask questions and make comments. I’m good at small talk and making strangers feel welcome. At a restaurant, I can get the waiter’s/waitress’ complete history by the time our meal is served.

I’m not usually comfortable with silence in the room. I love the sound of talking, laughing and conversation.

But sometimes . . . . .

As the other day when I just happened to be standing with a friend at church. I asked her how she was.

(Now let me pause here and give you some good Granny advice. Never and I mean NEVER ask anyone how they are unless you are prepared to hear the answer. The whole answer!)

She proceeded to tell me how things were not going well, how the doctors were not able to give her answers, how frightened she was, how out of control she felt.

Believe me when I tell you, I had no jokes, no stories, no small talk, no witty words to make her feel better. I stood there silent, holding her hand and listened until she had no more words.

She thanked me profusely for hearing her. We hugged and cried. Then she said, “You are the only one who understands.”

Truthfully, I didn’t understand anything, except I could identify with her feelings. I had said nothing of any profound use, offered no advice, didn’t even say I understood.

I simply looked into her eyes for what seemed like hours and listened to her story of pain. It doesn’t seem like much, until no one does it. Then the lack of it can be it’s own kind of death.

She and I aren’t even the closest of friends. We see each other at church and church functions and are friendly.

How this all happened this one particular time, this one particular moment and place is a mystery. Or is it?

She was ready and I was ready. One to talk and one to listen.

And you know what? I’m as grateful as she is!!!!

Listening To The Room

Today I spent most of my day with a few other ladies from our Quilting Bee. We were working on a couple quilt tops for a project for our Guild called Brotherhood For The Fallen. This is a mission we have taken on to supply a quilt to the family of every police officer in the state of Texas killed in the line of duty.

It’s a solemn duty but the day was anything but solemn. We had sewers, cutters, ironers and designers all busy putting wonderful fabric pieces together to form those two quilts.

Now when a bunch of quilters get together, things happen. Fabric scraps start to appear all over. Threads begin to cling to everything. The sound of machines whirr through the room. And the general noise level increases.

Designs must be arranged. Decisions must be made. Opinions offered. Math must be calculated. And all redone several times before the final outcome is reached and a design is ready to be sewn.

Then all the blocks must be measured and squared, sashing added and finally borders are put on.

None of this is done in silence. Quilters are definitely a chatty group. Even if they see each other often, as we do, they still find plenty to talk about.

The best moment of the day was just sitting quietly and listening to the room. Hearing two gals decide they liked the black border instead of the white. Hearing one friend tell another how her two children are doing. Hearing two ladies laugh over a photo of one’s dog on her phone.

All this played out to the background noise of sewing machines doing their job, irons pressing away and fabrics fluttering in the air.

In that moment all was right with the world. We were in complete harmony with each other. It was a perfect moment.

These are women I love. These are women I admire. These are women I trust. And what a gift they gave me today – one perfect moment!!