At a loss as to how to proceed with this whole blogging idea, I decided to just let my mind wander as I stared at the keyboard. I was quite hopeful that something useful would come to mind. I'm not sure if the thoughts that skipped merrily along over my synapses could be called helpful, but the reminiscing was thoroughly enjoyable.
The first thought that crossed my mind was about one of my favorite gifts I have ever received. To get to that gift, I need to give a wee bit of back story.
The summer of 2001 my sister and her best friend took a road trip out to Las Vegas with me. Why? Because they were turning 21 and where else would you take a road trip to for that milestone? It also helped that our aunt and uncle lived out there, so we had a place to stay.
My car was still quite new, so we had an easy drive out there. I had also added a 6 disc cd changer to it when I bought it the year before, but I still didn't own many cds. We mostly listened to the radio when we could, during our travels, but that can be rather difficult through parts of Utah. I made a stray comment that I wished I had 6 Bon Jovi cds because then I could listen to all Bon Jovi, all of the time. I didn't think of the remark again.
At Christmas, I received a gift from the girls. They had bought me 6 Bon Jovi cds. Now, one value of the gift was the great expense they went to at that time as young, struggling college students. The greatest value of the gift, however, was that they listened to what I said, even the casual remark. They cared enough to then act on that information. The real gift was their listening to me so very thoroughly.
From here, my thoughts drifted over to the power of words and what a gift and a blessing they can be. I swiftly recalled a memory from the summer I was 12. I went with a dear friend of mine to stay at her grandparent's house up near Big Rapids.When we got there, she was going to introduce me to her grandfather.
He said, rather quickly, "I know who she is, she's Ralph Rowe's grand-daughter." This pleased me immensely at the time. The older I have gotten, the more precious this memory has become. I had never met my grandfather. He died before I was born. My friend's grandfather had worked with him many years before that, yet saw a family resemblance when he met me. My grandfather, that I felt I had no connection to suddenly became very real for me. His connecting me to my grandfather through his simple observation is truly one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.
The reason this blog post has come about is due to the kind words and encouragement of my friend, Mike. He cared enough to check in with me and make sure that I am putting forth effort to chase my writing dreams.
These moments remind me all over again of the power of our words; how they can lead to sharing, caring, resilience, restoration, and connectedness.