Recently celebrated 450 days sober! Had a fabulous day for celebration. Watched a show and went to eat at one of my favorite sushi places. Then it was back to work like normal.

This weekend I had the privilege of taking care of someone who was recently diagnosed with cancer. She was given 6 months to live but with chemotherapy could live longer. We chatted about our children while I provided care. After a few days I was able to discharge her home. While waiting on transportation at the front door she started to cry. Of course I asked why. The response was “my son hasn’t hugged me for weeks.” My heart shattered for her. She then went on to explain that her son worked with the public and with her chemotherapy he was afraid hugging her would make her ill. As a nurse I want to fix things but I couldn’t fix her.

We never know what people are going through. Are they fighting an emotional battle they can’t share with anyone? I’m great when sharing when something good happens but recoil to myself when it’s bad news. I’m the first to congratulate someone else when they have good news also but don’t know what to say when they share bad news.

So as we sat there the only thing I could think to say was “I don’t know what your going through but I can sit and listen.” So I listened. I learned more about human compassion in that 15 minutes while we waiting than I have in my whole nursing career. She went from tears to laughing. Her eyes had lightened up. I had done my job.

Meeting have taught me to listen. It’s one of the gifts that sobriety has given me. Sitting and listen to other people talk and just not hearing the words that they say. Understanding the meaning they are delivering.

I’m blessed and grateful that with time I’m seeing a change in myself. The old me would have rushed that lady to the car. I would have looked at my watch about 20 times wondering when her ride was getting there. In my mind I would have been thinking about all the other things I had to complete. I wouldn’t have taken the time to listen to her. I’m thankful I’m not that old person anymore.

I’m challenging you to take the time to listen this week. Block the world out and truly listen. Take time for someone.