Today I learned a lesson in patience. Patience is a tool we develop with age. It’s certainly not innate. Instead of saying “hold on a minute,” I stopped what I was doing and listened as my Grandmother read to me.
My Grandmother had heart surgery last week and is staying with me this week. I’m worried and want to care for her, but after a super busy day, with little sleep last night, all I wanted to do was watch TV for 30 minutes. During that 30 minutes, she did what everyone in my family knows she’s going to do and decided right then was the perfect time to talk about everything under the sun. I just wanted quiet and a few minutes with the cast of Bones.
While she was talking and asking questions, she was flipping through the most recent Southern Living. There was a humorous essay, as usual, in the back of the issue. She said, “let me read this paragraph to you.” Now, it was a key moment in Bones, where the serial killer Pelant was wreaking havoc. I’m tired, stressed due to deadlines, but then reality hit: my 82-year-old Grandmother had heart surgery last week. If something had gone wrong, she might not be here right now, asking to read an anecdote to me out of a magazine. And this essay would something entirely different.
I sat there, paused the stream from Netflix, and soaked it in. My Grandmother read to me about donkeys and I laughed, because of how happy I was to be living in the moment and to be listening to her. When your Grandmother wants to read to you, I don’t care how old you are, you sit back and listen.
Be patient, take your time, do the small things and listen. Stories about biting donkeys are truly worth every single second.