Thursday, September 17, 2009

Never Underestimate the Power of Human Contact

group hug

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
-- Leo Buscaglia

I spent time with my Aunt Sandy these past two days; her travels from Illinois to points West brought her and my Uncle Rich to Los Angeles Tuesday.
I miss my Dad, her oldest brother, who passed away in 2004, so I welcomed the opportunity to finally meet her and her husband and spend some time together. Yes, our get-together Tuesday evening at Dockweiler Beach was our very first meeting!

She told me she ALMOST didn't call me ... she was afraid I had my mind made up about her based on what other family members say about her. Her main mission was to come and pay her respects at my Dad's grave site so she could say her goodbyes. I'm glad she DID call me. We hit it off and spent as much time as we could just being together during the two days she was here.

I have so few older family members now; I feel an emptiness in my life without them. To me, knowing I have older relatives gives me the assurance that I have someone to turn to when I need advice, perspective or some comfort. I try hard to be like a sponge around them, to soak up all their bits of advice, knowledge and wisdom from their lessons learned.

So after a meal of grilled rib eye steaks, baked potatoes, sourdough rolls and steamed vegetables (veggies courtesy of my container garden), the visiting commenced. First, I listened and she talked. Then she listened and I talked. And the funny thing is, in the matter of just a few hours, we discovered we have a lot in common. We parted feeling like family, like all those years of not knowing each other didn't exist. The lesson I was reminded of, once again: never underestimate the power of human contact.

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