notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Listen

Today I tweeted one of my daily “Theo’s Pup Tip Of The Day”-

puptiplisten.PNG

 

I was inspired by finding myself giving that circular hand motion – you know the one – the one that says “wrap it up already” to someone I love.

Yeah, Yeah… I heard this a million times… wrap it up already.

Why do I do that?  Why do I roll my eyes? I do I hardly even pretend to be listening?

How in the world do I not pay attention to the people I love?

My father used to tell the same story all the time about a famous company he visited as an agent for a gauge company. The CEO of the company told him that all the people on the factory floor were millionaires, because he had given them stock in the company and they had been profitably bought out. But the employees were still there. They loved working there. My father told this story dozens and dozens of times… especially when he was at the end of his life and didn’t always remember what he had told us already.

I’d love to hear it again. I’d pay attention. I’d ask him: What was that guy’s name? Did the employees look different, now that they were rich? Did you get his business? Did you become friends? I’d ask him to tell that story again, the very next time I saw him. I’d be lucky to hear it.

This week when I have lunch with my sister, I am going to ask her to tell me that story about her friend with the goats. I love that story. This time I will ask her the names of those silly goats. If she doesn’t remember, I will ask her to find out. That way she can tell me the story again next week.

I want to hear how my mother secretly applied to nurses’ training against her parents’ wishes, and packed her bag and walked off to school alone. And how she loved studying and working at the hospital and how she even thought the hospital food was delicious. And how my grandparents eventually became very proud of their daughter, the nurse.

And I want that grandfather to tell me how he left Poland because they wanted him to be a soldier, but how he didn’t want to go to war, so he came to the United States and how he came over with a stepbrother, but when the boat docked they went their separate ways and never saw each other again. But how he had left his fourteen-year-old sister back in Poland and how he wrote to her regularly for the next seventy years.

I want to hear my girlfriend tell me how her father took the bag of garbage to work one day instead of his lunch. And how his friends never let him forget it. That story always makes me laugh.

I want to hear my great-aunt Lora tell me how she worked as a maid in Groton, but on Saturday nights she would go down to the New London navy base and dance with the sailors. And how she had the best legs in Connecticut and everyone knew it, and how – if she could be anything she wanted – she would be Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke.

I want my husband to tell me about the time his buddy came home one Christmas on leave from the army, and brought a pilfered parachute with him, and how they tied it a toboggan on a windy day – and the parachute took them on the wildest ride across fields and yards and up and down hills and busy streets. And they thought they would die and yet shrieked from the thrill. And their pants and coats were full of snow when the toboggan finally dumped them against a fence.

Some of these stories I will never get the chance to hear again. But some of them I will – and this time I will listen.

I will listen to my youngest grandnephew as he tells me in the most roundabout way possible of every superhero that has ever been created, including a few that may only exist in his little brain, and of the television show he likes that has the magic gems, and while he is telling me this, he will be touching my topaz necklace gently, and his eyes will tell me that perhaps he thinks I might have some of this magic.

And I will think:

I do.

 

 

20 Comments

  1. I love to listen and hear the stories again. There comes a time when some of the people telling their stories are no longer with us but the memories are.

    Like

    • Yes… oh to hear my father tell his stories just one more time…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely. That’s all I can say. Thanks.

    Like

  3. That was truly beautiful – and brought tears to my eyes. And I am going to start listening to my loved ones – not tomorrow, but today, before it’s too late.

    Like

    • It’s so easy to half-listen… we should all try harder to put our hearts into the words of the people we love.

      Like

  4. Chris

    Do you want to have lunch? I have a story to tell you….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That reminds me of my former father-in-law. I met him when he was in his 60s. I was fresh meat for him stories and he latched on to me immediately. Over the years until he died, he told me the same stories and I laughed just as hard each time. He was a great story teller. There are many others (many still alive) but he stands out in my mind.

    Like

    • He was lucky to have such a great audience and you were lucky to hear all those stories!

      Like

  6. Donna W.

    This is beautiful, Nancy. And oh, so true. I wish with all my heart I could hear my mother tell me certain of her stories again, and again, and again. I rolled my eyes, too, and I’d give almost anything to hear her tell me one more time. On a happy note, I love Theo’s pup tips and his facial expressions. He’s simply gorgeous!

    Like

    • I know, Donna…. I was often totally exasperated at my father’s stories! Now I want to hear them again. And as for Theo… he is not always a good boy – he gets by on his looks!

      Like

  7. This was a perfectly timed post. Just yesterday my husband was telling me a story I’ve heard a dozen (or more) times and I was rolling my eyes internally (I try very hard not to do it visibly!) and thinking to myself, “Just get ON with it …” when he said something he’d never mentioned before – something that was actually really interesting – and I almost missed it. I’m going to pay more attention from now on (and hope he returns the favour!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, the eyeroll for hubby’s stories. It’s so hard to keep my eyeballs in my head. But you never know when you will hear a gem.

      Like

  8. I should have asked my mother and father all sorts of questions. How did they meet? Who was this mysterious half sister? What was it like working on the farm? Alas, it’s too late for me. I hope not for others who read your blog. Ask someone something tonight.

    Like

    • That’s a really good idea. Years ago, my cousin spent weeks with my great aunt going over all her old photographs and labeling who was in each photo. Not only was it wonderful that he was able to spend so much time with her and hear her stories, but now we have documented family pictures.

      Like

  9. wow that was very interesting story Nancy , bye.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Karen

    Something I needed to hear. Dog bless you.

    Like

  11. wow this was very interesting

    Like

  12. Wow, that’s so wonderfully put over here … and being such an animal lover is sometimes lucky and beautiful

    Like

  13. How right you are! Most of the time I enjoy listening to the stories. But I know there are times when I have heard the same story for the umpteenth time that I get glassy eyed and wonder when it will end. It’s not always convenient to listen when they are being told. I guess I’m going to have to work on that. For the record…I don’t watch law and order.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: