Lessons from an Older Woman

5 06 2016

5’2”, long blond hair, blue eyes with a face like an angel; and there she was sitting and Rock _ntalking to me. “Lord if you call me home now, I will definitely die a happy man!”  It was summer and the hot spot to be in northern Ohio was a club called Surf Place, a place that catered to the 18 to 21 crowd and where my buddy and I would go whenever we had the chance. It was there he introduced me to Jill, a senior in college who was vacationing with her parents on Lake Erie. Though she was 3 years older than me we hit it off immediately and we spent the rest of the evening laughing, dancing and drinking beer. At closing time my friend, his girl, plus Jill and I drove around the lake region until we found a small beach where some others had built a bonfire they were sitting around; so we stopped and joined in. Such a beautiful night and there I was enjoying it with this beautiful girl. So I thought until Jill leaned over, whispered in my ear; “Can we get away from everyone and just be by ourselves?” The sky was star filled; there was a gentle sound of small waves splashing against rocks as they made their way to shore. When we were a good distance from the rest we knelt down onto the sand, and stayed together until the sun began to come up, and we talked. (Had a couple of you going there for moment, huh?!) I confess it was a thrill to have the attention of such a gorgeous creature, but it didn’t take much to see Jill wasn’t looking for a lover or a summer fling; she was looking for a friend, someone to listen to what was on her heart. Perhaps my ego wanted something more, but there was no way I was going sacrifice what she really needed at that time, someone to listen to her. Before she returned to college for the fall semester we met several more times always the same scenario, someplace quiet to talk. Then one day I realized something, I was doing all possible to be a help to Jill when actuality she was being a help and teaching something to me. Before she came along, I don’t know if I ever took time to really get to know a girl, except physically. If there was something else that made them special, other than looks, I totally missed it. For the first time I was seeing a woman in a more intimate setting than I ever had before; I was seeing her heart and all it took was to listen.

It’s been said, “Taking time to truly listen to someone can communicate our love and respect even more than our spoken word.” What I learned from Jill gave me a better relationship with the one I would eventually fall in love with and chose to spend the rest of my life. Without an understanding of just how valuable listening, really listening to others is, I doubt my marriage would be as wonderful as it is some 42 years later.  From me and my Lady, “Thank you Jill.”

As for what I did for her, not much really other than what I’ve related–being a good listener. Well maybe a listener who came to share a small portion of her pain as my heart ached for this child’s sadness. For you see Jill had a deep love for someone who she lost; not a friend or a lover, someone closer. Two years prior Jill’s older brother was killed in action in Viet Nam. Now you tell me, what’s more important, making it with a beautiful girl or being there for her as she tries to put the pieces of a broken heart back together.

Philippians 2:4: “Let each of you look out not only for your own interest, but also for the interest of others.”

It’s now been over 40 years since the last time I crossed paths with this angelic “Traveler of the Rock Road. I would love to know how she is but unfortunately that probably will never happen. I guess I’ll have to be content knowing God allowed me to give a long blond haired, blue eyed girl with the face of an angel what she needed that summer many years ago; a listening and compassionate ear.

Now someone just try and tell me I didn’t have the best time of my life!

See ya next time!


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