At my place of business, I speak with countless individuals who may or may not be able to benefit from my services. I called a potential client and there was a long silence in the beginning then finally a soft hello. I encountered a woman whom I determined that I could not assist and she told me about someone whom I may be able to assist. She was a talker, and this conversation was going places that I could not control because it was hard to get a word in edge-wise.
However, the story started to get better so I stopped trying to interrupt her and just let her continue to speak. She told me about her granddaughters and how she missed them so much. You see her only son does not get along with his step dad. And because she decided to take the side of her husband she lost the relationship with her son. She has not seen her son or granddaughters in over 8 years. The last known address she had put him in a city called Mesa out in Arizona. She wrote him a letter but the letter was returned to sender and on the back of the envelope there was a short message that said “Previous tenants moved”. And just like that she felt so alone in the world.
I was finally able to speak so I asked about her husband. She regretfully told me that he died about 8 years ago. I asked isn’t that around the same time that you lost contact with your son. She told me that after they had their big fall out and her son moved away, her husband died two weeks later. I asked why didn’t she write her son sooner. She said he’d never given her the address, When he finally wrote her it was 3 years later. She said she did not have the heart to write back and held off for about two months. That’s when she finally decided that she would pour her heart into a letter to her son and also one for each of the grandchildren. So I asked how did they respond to the letters. She then said, “aren’t you listening it was stamped return to sender with a note on the back.” I apologized and kept listening.
Dealing with so much loss in her life she developed a form of anxiety called agoraphobia. It started with her not going to new places, then accelerated into her not leaving the home. Finally she just shut down and stop talking to people period. Just enough conversation to thank the service and delivery people.
The story went on and there was not a happy ending for her. At the end of the story I was pretty speechless. I simply offered my condolences for her loss and told her I wish there was more that I could do. She laugh at my comment and said “you have done far more than you could imagine. You see this is the first real conversation I have had in over 4 years. I appreciate you not rushing me off the phone. Its been so long since I spoke to someone, once the words started to flow, I just couldn’t stop.” “You gave me just what I needed!” She laughed again. I asked her so whats next for you. She said “I think I may try to leave the house, “
I asked her one last question before ending the call. I wanted to know what made her answer the phone after so many years. She said she accidentally knocked off the base and thought i would be rude to just hang up on me. She then stated that it took her a moment to decided to finally say hello. We ended our conversation and I couldn’t take another call without first taking a break. It’s amazing how much of a blessing you can be to someone when you just stop and listen.
Thank you for being my Audience
© 2013. N. L. Writings