Other

The Simplest Hospitality

One of my richest blessings is the friendship I share with a senior friend.  The afternoons I spend with her are some of my favorites. We love to share conversation over some Panera soup and half a sandwich and then wander the aisles at a local department store – looking for a new top that will make her feel pretty. She is always delighted if I have “just a few minutes” to come in and visit when I take her home. After our already “visiting” for hours:) She will tell me once again (as if for the first time) all her favorite stories and memories from a life of 90 years. We laugh at the funny parts and tear at the sad ones just like we have every time she shares the story.

Her eyesight is limited and while it really does not slow her down, it is bothersome to her. Poor vision and a fall several years ago, occasionally, make her unsteady on her feet. So, without even thinking about it, when we leave the house, or walk across a parking lot or navigate crowded stores, I take her arm. I make sure she is steady. Her smooth hand gently resting on my arm gives her reassurance. No need to anxious – or to be in a hurry.  Simply walking together.

Her poise, evident even while having to rely on another, is reflected in her life as well. She has experienced much.  She has known much joy and, as well, much sorrow, loss, and heartache.  But her testimony is precious.  Just as willing as she is to rely on a friend, she leans on her Lord and allows Him to direct her paths. He keeps her steady. And she is teaching me how to do the same.

One of the things I have most missed during the weeks of quarantine has been true connection.  Afternoons over soup.  Telling – and retelling – stories.  Laughing over games of UNO.  Sharing life…and giving hugs.  It is the simplest form of hospitality, but no doubt some of the most sincere.  I very much miss my senior friends.  I may have taken for granted how precious afternoons together were or how much my soul needs them.  One more quarantine lesson.  I look forward to being together again soon.

7 thoughts on “The Simplest Hospitality

  1. I love this. What a beautiful friendship. Love how you describe hearing the same stories and acting as if it’s the first. I could stand to do the same sometimes with my family (Several of my family members have high functioning autism and they definitely like to have the same conversations over and over and over).

    Oh, and I love the name of your blog!

  2. This is so beautiful! I have friendships like this in my life as well, and I have so missed them! Even on Fridays, when I would usually spend every Friday afternoon with my dad (and have for the last fifteen years), the time is so strange now because he hasn’t been coming over. You’ve inspired me to pay him a visit tomorrow, if the weather permits…he is eighty-nine years young and has really been taking the stay at home orders seriously, as he should. I know he plans on doing the same for quite some time, just to make sure he stays healthy. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Oh, I hope all works out for you to visit with your dad tomorrow. What a blessing to still have him here to visit! Tell him I said hello:)

  3. I loved reading about your friendship, although it breaks my heart that you’re not able to see each other right now. I’m sure she misses the connection as well. It is the personal connections that I’m missing the most right now too.

Leave a Reply to Jennifer Goodwin Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *