Wednesday, January 19, 2011

People we meet

After church a few weeks back I met an elderly gentleman, Mr. Aspen. I was standing off to the side as the girls and Daddy were selecting their doughnuts. Mr. Aspen cup of coffee in one hand and a cane in the other noticed Adelynn. Babies are such people magnets. He walked over to me and began to chat with me. In the short time we talked I learned so much about him. He's a recent widow his wife passed away due to a blood illness that was missed and likely attributed to a blood transfusion from years ago. He and his wife lived in Denver for most of their lives only just recently moving to the D.C. area. Sadly the move was not as expected. They came here to be close to their son, he's adopted, and grandchildren. Shortly after getting settled his wife became ill. There were far more details told to me and many I can't tell. It was an awful experience that was so unexpected.

Our conversation moved on to how long we have been in the area and how long we have been going to this church. He began to explain to us that his son does not go to church any more and has not for several years. I could tell how that broke Mr. Aspen's heart. He told us how he really wanted his son to come back to church for the sake of his grandsons. I have noticed this has been a trend in people in my age bracket. Mr. Aspen was curious about us and the countless other young parents at our church. He wanted to know why we find our faith important and his son does not. That I cannot answer. I wanted to tell him how most of my family has left the church too, the only ones still attending regularly are those his age. Something changes in a person that causes them to be turned off from religion.

I didn't expect to learn so much about him but he kept sharing and with each story I felt how lonely he is. I know he's a social guy being a widow is hard, harder on you if you're a talker. He was so interesting and I would have enjoyed talking to him more if not for a hungry baby. Keith did well restraining Adelynn but that works only so long for her before she goes bonkers. After we left I was reminded about the importance of conversation. Of giving time to others, strangers even. How simple that conversation is but so very meaningful it becomes to you and them. I hope I was able to brighten his day and give him a glimmer of happiness in his time of mourning. Perhaps we'll meet again to catch up like old friends.

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