By Suzy Beal
Something strange has been happening here in my home lately. The communication between my husband and me has been falling apart.
At first, I thought it was because we just weren’t paying attention to each other. Then I wondered if it was our age and perhaps just not hearing each other the way we used to. Maybe it’s because we know each other so well that we feel we know what the other person is going to say and so we don’t listen.
We’ve both had our hearing checked and although there is some hearing loss, there’s no need for hearing aids yet. So, I guess it boils down to not paying attention.
When did we stop paying attention to each other? Life seems so busy. We are both involved with our pursuits of writing and playing the piano each day. We have errands to run, food to purchase, books to take to the library, and helping our daughters with their lives when they need it.
Here in our house, we sort of bump and grind (as we call it) way too much. The knowing smiles we used to pass to each other are gone. It’s hard to be patient with someone when you feel you aren’t being heard. I think that is the problem.
As we age, we need to be more patient. We need to care more, be kinder to our partner. Life throws us enough curves. We don’t need to create more, especially between us. The Webster definition of the word patience: “bearing the provocation, annoyance, misfortune, pain, etc. without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation.” That seems to fit our situation.
I must try harder and after I read this to him, I know he will try harder, too.
p.s. Robert loved this piece, and we really do talk abut these things in our household. The essay did give us a point from which to start.
© 2022 Suzy Beal
Writer and budding poet Suzy Beal spent twenty-five years helping seniors put their stories to paper and this year just finished her own memoir. Suzy’s work has appeared on truestorieswelltold.com, including a serialized portion of her travel memoir. She writes personal essays and is currently studying poetry. Her work has appeared on Story Circle Network, 101words, Central Oregon Writer’s Guild, and recently an essay in Placed: An Encyclopedia of Central Oregon. She lives and writes from Bend, Oregon.
Wonderful sharing, Suzy! I thought of the afternoon piano playing just the other day.