I interviewed a woman today whose son died from a brain tumor 17 months ago.
As often as I speak to families and as often as I find myself living in this childhood cancer world, these talks never get easier. I was upset afterwards and so thankful that my son has one of his best pals over. I walked downstairs and heard them call each other "Bro" in their 9 year old boy voices and was able to remember the light in the world. Then I immediately went and downloaded it all with my husband, who gave me a hug and then I was on my way, on to some other work and home to-do's.
Busy can be a blessing, friends.
Briefly I wondered why I put myself in these hard situations. I can pass things off to other writers; I don't have to do this. I decided I would pass on future stories like this.
But, then this beautiful, wise, grieving woman who I spoke to for the first time today, sent me some photos of her two sons--one who has died and one who lives. I loved seeing the photos. She wrote more about her journey. She was candid and truthful. I realized that I would not pass on listening to stories. Everyone has a story that deserves to be told and heard. Our stories connect us.
Listening is a gift that I can give. After all, I ask everyone who reads Yoke to listen to me week after week. And when people tell me they've read my rambles and stories, I feel so much more connected--I feel loved!
Listening (or reading, in this case) does not cost anyone anything; but it is the most extravagant gift we can give one another.