Friday, August 24, 2012

Affected by Affection

How long do you need to know someone to have an effect on them?  How many times do your paths need to cross to truly change someone's life?  We've lived in many places and met many people...some have set up permanent residence in our hearts in a matter of moments and changed us forever, while others have crossed our paths multiple times weekly for years and still have not crossed that line.  What is it that we say or do that matters to others?  How is it that sometimes people just "click"?

My grandmother was one of those people who could change your life just by a conversation and a hug.  She'd meet a stranger at the store, and by the end of the shopping trip walk away with a friend.  My adopted grandpa, Ralph Walker Sr., was another one who began changing my life by his simple act of giving me a hug after services one night. 

I was reminded of their open hearts when an elderly man at the store the other day, stopped me and handed me a diamond necklace (well, a "dime-and-necklace" see pic).  The small gesture led to a wonderful conversation for my kids and that will probably be with us for years to come, even if our paths never cross him again.

When I think over the people and actions that have changed my life so drastically, I realize that it was always them opening themselves and generously giving...not necessarily physical gifts, but emotional ones...words, hospitality of home and heart, actions that without a doubt demonstrated they truly cared.

It's not always easy to put yourself out there, especially for this natural introvert, but when you realize the beautiful effect you can have on someone's life by simply showing tiny affections, how can we not reach out?!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Young Love

You remember the days of young love?  How all it took was a word, or a lingering look to cause your heart to skip a beat and set the beautiful tone for the rest of your day.  A note, a conversation, even a smile could make everything else in the day brighter and rose-tinted....and then the debilitating opposite of a back turned, a missed call, or a silence that could bring everything crumbling down around you.  Remember that raw emotion that tears or builds you up starting from deep within your gut?!
Today I wondered who my kids would base those feelings on, and then it hit me....a parent is a child's first love.  If you don't believe me, watch how the words from your mouth soak into them in the early hours of the morning...observe the tone change in their day by the way you converse with them over a meal...mourn the anguish in their eyes when you fail to meet their expectations or listen to them fully.
We all long for love.  If you know someone is aching for yours, why not shower them with it?  Why not give them the gift that you yourself long for?  Keep in mind how it never takes much to build each other up, it's those little things that go a long way...go make someone's day!