Pick any Saturday night in the 70’s and you would find me up past my typical bedtime, anxiously awaiting the end of the eleven o’clock news so we could get to Chiller Theater, hosted by local TV personality, “Chilly Billy” Cardille. Are you with me? Each week, the show would feature two of the old monster or horror movies from the past (yes, even the past had a past), many of which were black and white. Whether it was the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein, or my favorite: Godzilla – Saturday night was the highlight of my TV-viewing week.
Nostalgia – A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations (Oxford Dictionaries via Google).
This little snippet of a memory is just a small glimpse into my happy past. There are many fond memories I could share. We all have memories that induce feelings of nostalgia. Sometimes those feelings are so strong that we wish we could go back to those “better days.” But reality tells us that is not a possibility. We are living in the here-and-now, with all its blessings and challenges.
Does this mean that our feelings of nostalgia should be denied? Should we suppress those good feelings we get when we remember the past? No! Those fond memories are all a part of a lifetime full of experiences that have made us the person we are today.
One of the joys of hospice work is that we get to hear those stories. As we allow our patient to tell them, we can see the life in their eyes. They enjoy telling their life-experiences to fresh ears and I, for one, love to hear them. I have learned from them, been entertained by them and shared some laughs with them.
So, when someone has a tale to tell, take the time to listen. You will be enriched by hearing. They will feel valued by the telling. And both will find a true human connection that is a blessing to behold.
“Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other.” – Romans 12:10 (TLB)
May this be a day in which you take the time to listen to a story. Someone is waiting for a willing ear to hear. In the process, you may find a new friend.