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Sunday, February 3, 2013


This past week I have been walking (well, wheeling) through life with blinders on.

That's what deadlines do to me. Golden Dreams was due to my editor on February 1st, and I was going to get that done. No monthly concerts or resident council meetings where I was the topic of conversation were going to stand in my way. Certainly not the needs of my fellow residents.

I did turn in the  manuscript on time. I even finished my second goal for January, which was to finish the rough draft of the material I need for the nonfiction book proposal for The Blessing Factor.

But every now and then I have to remind myself to take the blinders off and look at the people around me.

I feel so helpless when our oldest resident, at 94, shouts at me from across the room. "You'll do that, wont'cha?"  I don't know what "it" is. She doesn't understand I'm no more mobile than she is. I do seek to get an aide to help her, but she doesn't communicate her needs to them any better than she does to me. And I sit here and wish she didn't call out so constantly, so helplessly, to me. And feel guilty when I shut out her pleas to work.

This week our gravely ill resident who has been a source of cheer and compassion for everyone around us left--to go to live with his recently discovered father. Hallelujah for him. But . . . I missed his final goodbye. He came to me, personally, to tell me he was leaving at 11 a.m. The next thing I knew, it was lunch time . . . and he was gone.

Or how about our calling bird, who day after day sings our favorite songs and looks to me to join her in song? I tell her I refuse to sing during meals (she doesn't eat enough) but that means I need to listen and join her at other times--like when I'm working.

Or even when the man who is quickly becoming the love of my life said, "I wouldn't tell anyone about us without your permission."  And it took me until he came back to realize perhaps I should tell him, Go ahead! Tell anyone you want to! 

(P.S. I didn't think it was a secret. Not when he announced "I love you more and more each day!" in the lobby, where anyone could hear him.)

The book is done. It's time to take the blinders off and see and listen with all my heart.


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