Food, Family, & Faith

Sometimes You Just Need To Stop & Listen

Good Morning Family! Instead of a recipe or craft we are going to go deeper then that today. It’s called life and how short it really is. I have had neighbors for the last 12 years.  Mary and I have always talked about the weather, Grandchildren and more but Jim was very quiet and didn’t talk much. That is until these past 6 months. Jim was diagnosed with Cancer a few years ago in fact he had beat Lymphoma twice. But these last 6 months have been a struggle for him, COPD, Congestive Heart failure, Kidney damage and more. This man went from standing and powerwashing a rooftop to sitting in a chair being lulled to sleep by the TV.

During this time he could no longer drive and neither could his wife, so I volunteered to either pick up groceries or take them shopping. It was so funny to see this man who I though so gruff squeeze every tomato to find just the perfect one. Or to see the glint in his eye when he seen they had Lobster Bisque as the special soup that day. In 6 months Jim and I went from being just neighbors to me feeling like I was part of his family. We talked about everything! I learned about all of his carpentry days, How to get just the right mix of chemicals when he worked for Kodak and how to make a good pot of soup. He loved cooking shows! I think he had seen every season of Chopped and he loved Gordon Ramsey.

I would love to see how he would get so excited talking about his youth but then the pain in his voice as he talked about struggles of the Depression and what his family went through.I know by now you are asking yourself where is this all going? You see if I never took the time to listen I would not have known this great man! We go through life so fast worried about ourselves we never get the chance to know people,  some of them are our own parents.  Sometimes they just want you to sit down and have a cup of coffee with them and just listen as they reminisce. Jim’s wife Mary has signs of dementia. And has told me the same stories over and over and over.  I just smile and listen as if it was the first time she has told me even though it may have been the 50th.

The other day I was telling Jim how much my Husband wanted to go to Red Lobster to try that new Coconut Shrimp. As I was leaving the hospital that day Jim asked for his billfold and took out a 50 and said take your Husband to dinner on me. Tell Al I owe it to him for him lending you to us so often. I smiled and said ok I will do that.  So last night we had the time and the opportunity to go and did we enjoy the shrimp! This morning I went over to tell him how much we enjoyed his blessing us with dinner but Jim was no longer with us. At 8:20 he was called home. I will certainly miss that mischievous smile, that sparkle he had in his eye when he would look at the love of his life for the last 30+ years. And I don’t think I will ever look at a pot of Lobster Bisque again without thinking of Jim. Like I mentioned earlier just take time to listen. Enjoy the Journey my friend you will be missed….Mama Carol



3 thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Need To Stop & Listen”

  • Such a blessing that you took time to be a real neighbor. Yes, we miss times when we can help others and miss out on getting to really know even our friends and family. This has inspired me to take the time to tell a story from my childhood to my children so they can know more about me. Thanks for the memory.

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