Yesterday I was in the place to watch an all day marathon of OWN television. It was that show Ayana Save My Life or something like that.
I think I watched 3 episodes and slept through the other 2.
During each of the episodes the key to fixing the problem was communicating. This one episode really resounded with me because of the words that were used.
I wish I had a closet of all the words I have heard that have moved me through the years. I would hang them up and on days when I needed them I could wrap them around me like a warm robe.
In this episode she is trying to talk to this older gentleman who was very set in his way because of how he was raised and his life experiences. She said, “Sometimes you have to meet people where they are.” (in their experience) and this man was not in the same place that she needed him to be to be able to make a difference. She tried for about 20 minutes to communicate what she needed and it wasn’t working. She thanked him for his time and told the viewers, “you have to meet people where they are, but sometimes you have to leave them there.”
It got me to thinking about the gift of conversations. If you ask someone who has lost someone what they would want and 90% of the time they say something like, “I wish I would have told them…” or “I wish I just had one more day to just sit and talk…”
In my life I have had ‘last conversations’ with people. I didn’t always know that it was the last conversation though. I was on the phone with Grandma moments before I would have no other conversations with her. She got up to check on something and fell down. I would never be able to talk to her again, to hear her voice.
My last words to my grandpa was, “I’ll see you later, Ugly.” and his were to me, “Yep, see you later, Double Ugly.” I wouldn’t change any conversation I had with either of these people if you offered me all the money in the world. There is something gentle and comforting about the way I conversed with my grandparents. They had unconditional love…and in that love I could feel safe to hear their words and give them mine.
I can think of the last conversations in my life that if I could change, I would. My step daughter is one of them. The way it ended was wrong and It was based on her immature behavior and someday when she is grown, I hope that she chooses to change our last conversation with an apology. I don’t care that she is still in contact with her step sisters, but as for me I will not allow her to disrespect me the way she did ever again. I have forgiven her, but I won’t allow myself to be hurt again.
My ex-father in law. I did get to say goodbye to him and I know that he loves me, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the conversations. I miss the phone calls to each other to talk about Twilight Zone or some other old movie we both loved. That easy way of conversing.
My old best friend. The last conversation I had with her was her being very mad at me that I was going skydiving without her. I can’t believe that was the last thing we talked about. I can’t believe after everything we had been through, that our last conversation would be something so incredibly stupid.
Looking back, I realize now that she had no idea how strong I really was and it made her her feel better as a person to have control over me and our friendship. She crossed the line when she wanted control over how I was raising my children. I’m all up for ideas, tips and conversations on how to do things that work better. It’s a whole new story when she went behind my back to someone else that didn’t have my families best interest at heart and thought they could turn my daughters against me.
Sometimes people have their final conversation with you and you can’t control how that will go. I accept now that some times…stupid conversations are going to be the last conversation.
I decided yesterday that I am not going to take any conversation for granted anymore. I am going to really hear what people are telling me. I want to be able to say at the end of the conversation, “I heard what you said to me.” and they will know that their words are blessings…or they are weapons. I will let people know that if they give me love, I will not take it for granted. I will also understand that not everyone has a large emotional vocabulary, but if they can express their disappointments, they can just as easily express their love.
Today I will wear my warm robe of words that were given to me by the three amazing women in my life. I am loved.