"How do we know about those around us?...Sit close to someone you love and implore that person to tell and tell and tell their story. " -Thanhha Lai
Everyone holds stories that reveal bits of themselves. If we only take the time to connect and listen.
After losing the big love of my life, I find I crave connection. Now, I sit for hours and visit with friends and family. It reminiscent of college days when I would sit in the dorm and talk and talk until the wee hours of the morning. Life seemed to stretch out ahead of us, unending; we thought we had all the time in the world, and nothing was more important than those connections.
Settled into the comfort of married life, if invited out, we would often decline. Instead we would stretch out on either end of the couch reading or go for a long walks holding hands. (This was not only romantic, but an attempt to moderate my husband's long strides.) I didn't want for more. We had each other.
Now, my heart yearns to reach out to others. I collect stories. I collect them over dinner. I collect while grabbing handfuls of homemade popcorn seasoned with brewer's yeast and dill and lament the tini-ness of Tiny Houses, swoon in the rich sound of my Yamaha guitar and talk fermented foods. I listen to the dreams of my daughter, the nursing student or the training of a soldier, my son. I connect while sipping herbal tea, listen to travel plans, and spiritual matters. Jerry stories are a constant.
Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.-Mohsin Hamid
As I connect with others, gather collective stories and share and listen to Jerry stories, I am discovering myself and beginning to build my future alone.
Each day is a gift. In the face of death, my husband chose to thank God for each day. Through this journey we both rediscovered of the importance of connecting with others and practicing love. I choose to connect with my heart. I want to know about those around me. In knowing others, I begin to understand myself and all that is possible.