Hearing Again, Listening
Some stories we hear over and over. Ones from our childhood, our family’s history. It is easy to hear without listening. But when we really listen, we often learn something new. View that familiar story in a new light.
Yesterday, I heard a story I’ve heard before. But somehow, this time was different. This time, I saw the parents, my parents.
I was two years old. We lived next door to my grandparents in the country. (My parents still live in the same house.) Mom had done office work but was not working at this time. Dad worked as a carpenter.
One morning, I woke up covered in red whelps. Quite upsetting for young parents. They loaded me in the car, and we headed to see the doctor.
I had an allergic reaction, most likely a food allergy.
Grandpa and Grandma had a milk cow. And I had been drinking fresh, raw milk. Apparently, something in the cow’s feed did not sit well with me.
The prescription was simple. Go to the grocery store. Buy ham and applesauce. Only feed her those two things for an entire week.
Here’s the catch. Mom and Dad only had eleven or twelve dollars to their name.
They went to the grocery store. Bought ham and applesauce. And all three of us had the exact same menu for the following week.
Mom always laughs when telling this story. It is not viewed as a negative story. It is a doing what you must story. But this time, I heard it as a sacrifice story.
My parents did not ask anyone for help. They did not complain about eating ham and applesauce for a week. They did what was needed to take care of me, thankful for a solution.
I can picture them as I’ve seen in photos. Young, first-time parents. Nervous and concerned. Loving their little girl. That little girl just happened to be me.