This past weekend, after a long day of racing around to do errands, I returned home only to run into one of my elderly neighbors. She approached me and asked me about her recent vacuum purchase (don’t worry, I’ll explain). You see, a year and a half prior, she had ran into me on Black Friday and saw the new vacuum that I had purchased (that I was probably way too ecstatic about!) and had many questions for me regarding vacuums. I was happy to explain to her why I loved my recent purchase so much. 😊
She mentioned that she was having issues with the vacuum and was concerned that perhaps she hadn’t put it together properly. I gave her a smile, told her I needed to run inside to put my groceries away, but then I would come over and look at the vacuum for her.
I made my walk to her home, and upon entering, noticed that she didn’t seem as happy as she had when I ran into her earlier. I asked her how she was doing and if there was something wrong and she immediately had tears in her eyes and began to tell me how her daughter was dying. I didn’t pry for too many details, but she informed my that her daughter is an alcoholic and it’s to the point of no return; she now has so much fluid build-up that she’s living in a hospital so that it can constantly be pumped out.
We walked into her living room and she grabbed the vacuum cleaner. I quickly noticed that she had put it together and perfectly (not too shabby for a gal in her 80’s). With some quick research, I pulled up her vacuum on Amazon and noticed that the one she purchased is an entire 6 pounds heavier than the one I had bought, so I mentioned to her that perhaps the heavier weight is what makes vacuuming feel like a chore (wait a minute….it is a chore….).
She asked if I would sit down and we began talking. Like, really talking. Deep, meaningful conversation.
She told me about her 15 years of being a stay-at-home mom to her four children. She told me about her work experience after her kids were all out of the house. We chatted about religion, morals, values, work ethic, and quality family time.
Before I knew it, I had been there for over an hour.
The time came for me to leave, so before I walked out the door, I asked if I could give her a hug.
That hug felt like it lasted for an eternity.
That hug felt like she hadn’t had one in quite some time.
I told her if she ever needed anything, including a hug, to never hesitate to come knock on my door.
And again, tears filled her eyes and she whispered, “Liz, I definitely will.”
This isn’t a “let-me-toot-my-own-horn” blog post.
I didn’t do anything spectacular.
I didn’t do anything heroic.
I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.
All I did was pay attention.
And I listened.
And I opened my heart to freely give love to someone in need.
We aren’t meant to be alone.
In fact, being around people, that connection and togetherness, does something to us.
It makes us feel apart of something so much larger in life.
It allows us to bond with a tribe. And that’s why I love what my mom and I do – because the best moments in life are those of connection and relational intimacy, and we do that by gathering family and friends and bringing them around the table.