During my dad’s birthday party, one of the guests was seated on a couch as my sister and I engaged in a discussion with our aunt who we had not seen in a few years. We can be a loud crew and with two other conversations going on in the room, it was a bit crazy. During this, my mom walks over and sits next to this guest and asks her if she’s following what’s going on in the conversation. She got partitioned off from the other guests and was listening in to our conversation but not really participating.
My mom starts a new conversation with the guest making sure she feels welcomed. That was one of the things I always admired about my mom—she would always seek out the individual in a crowd and greet them. As an Army brat who moved around quite a bit, I grew up being the single person in a crowd that had no one to talk to many times. Once I integrated, I always made sure to seek out and welcome the loner.
It’s these moments that always confuse me. One day, my mom can’t navigate simple household payments, and today, she’s moving around the room making sure each guest is welcomed and enjoys their visit. Apparently she still has some things to teach me. Humbled.
3 thoughts on “Are you following this conversation?”
Well said. Not to sound too Oprah-esque, but I found being open to these occasional moments where the true essence of the person comes through to be a gift. With my Dad’s wife, she can go in one moment from not grasping the difference between her blouse and the napkin we’re trying to keep on her lap … to remarking with perfect clarity on what nice penmanship she thought I always had (she was a teacher).
Thanks for your note. I find those moment a bit disconcerting … but am working very hard to find the joy from it when it happens.