The optical illusion illustration of the old woman or the young lady, poems, letters and rhymes. The assortment of things my grandpa would keep in his pocket for the perfect chance to share them with someone who could use a smile. Oh, and the ‘hot dog’. The photo that my grandpa thought was hilarious of the Dachshund in a hot dog bun.
He was someone who always appreciated a human connection and interaction. He was a United Church minister and his life involved visiting, listening, encouraging and loving people. And he was very good at it.
He wrote a book of his life experiences which he had published – to share with friends and family – which included some of these favourite poems, letters or stories that he loved to share, in his ‘Health and Humour’ section at the end.
He was the type that would get to know people from his walks, the tea-room that he and grandma visited, to the local senior’s centre. When I think of the value of human connection, I think of him and his life’s work.
When I was in college, I took the bus everywhere in Victoria but my regular morning route on the Number 14 had a kind bus driver, who I would stand at the front and chat with on the short ride to College. I remember one morning, another student from my program got on the bus and said, ‘what are you doing?’ in that way teenage girls can say things that make you feel like you should feel bad about something. But contrary to what I had assumed the intention was, I felt like she may be missing out if she doesn’t talk to people that aren’t in her ‘circle’ of friends.
I walk in to get my morning tea, rather than using the drive thru (I like black steeped tea at Tim Hortons). Doing this had me saying hello in the morning some years ago to a fellow commuter at the 7am time when I drove out to East Sooke, and he drove South from Nanaimo. I then changed jobs to work full time 5km from home so didn’t have to go so early, and he retired. Walking in also means I get to know the people that work there a little big, interacting with them. On Friday I posted a watercolour painting of donuts. I made a retirement card for the baker who had his last day there on Saturday. Being like Grandpa (and my dad too, truthfully, he is similar with his visiting), has taught me the value of talking to new people. How much a smile and a hello is appreciated in a world especially now, where people don’t say hello or good morning enough.
So no matter what time you are reading this, Good morning, Good evening, Ggoedemorgen, Goedenavond! I hope you connect with someone today. (Send me a note, I would be happy to hear from you!)
With love, met liefde,