(If you can’t be with the one you love, honey) love the one you’re with … or at least be with the one you’re with. This is our first “wisdom of the heart” lesson.
Back when George HW was in the White House, before Al Gore invented the Internet, and when dinosaurs were roaming the earth (back when the amount of memory you now carry on your keychain needed an entire room) rambling mom got hit over the head with a
Some friends of mine had a baby and there was an issue for the mom. I can’t recall exactly what the issue was but there was some kind of issue. People were very concerned and often asked her husband (the dad) “how’s the mom?” “how’s the baby?” “how’s the mom?” “how’s the baby?” Which is what people naturally do when there’s an issue.
One day daddy snapped, and complained that nobody ever asked how he was doing. And quite rightly so, he was taking care of both mom and baby, they were graduate students at the time and on a rather fixed budget so he also needed to keep working and such.
Yeah – I don’t blame him for snapping. And ramblingmom got to learn a lesson (you hit me over the head with a clue by four hard enough things eventually start to sink in).
Since then, I’ve been known to ask people how “so and so” is doing, but I also make it a point to ask how YOU are, because the person that I’m talking to actually counts. And oftentimes the caretaker has his (or her) own set of issues and difficulties and needs.
This came to mind the other day. I was a church and one of the women is going through treatment for breast cancer. I was talking to her husband and I was finding out how their son was doing and how the husband was doing. Someone wandered over and said “I’d like an update on the wife.” I realized that I actually hadn’t ASKED about the wife. But then, that information is fairly (and quickly) disseminated. After the meeting when everyone was splitting off in separate directions I mentioned to husband that I’d be thinking of him and wife on Thursday (tomorrow) when they have a consultation with some bigwig doctor for a second opinion. He stopped to tell me that he appreciated my listening.
I’ve also kept this in mind when friends of friends have problems. Often times someone is helping out when a person is having problems. And the person that’s helping (especially in the case of a spouse or parent or child) sometimes has to give a great deal in order to help along. Sometimes the “shoulder to lean on” needs something (or someone) to lean on.
And I will, when I can, try to be the “shoulder of the shoulder.” Because I’m a wonderful and caring and compassionate person (and because I really don’t have a need to get whacked upside the head with any more clue by fours).
Back in 2002 when my niece died, many many people expressed concern for my sister and her husband (as well they should) but relatively few people bothered to take a moment to ask ramblingmom how I was doing. There was a great deal of appreciation for those that took a minute to express sympathy for RM.
All those that didn’t express sympathy to RM, names were noted and someday they’ll get their very own clue by four bwahahahahahaha.