Monday, February 9, 2009

The Whaa!ambulance

In our family, if you need a shoulder to cry on, you say, "I need to call the Whaambulance."

The Whaambulance is the caring attention of a loving family member.

Elizabeth called from New York today after a day when one thing after another went wrong. She wanted to know if I could be her Whaambulance. I'm grateful that I had had today off and was in a place to just listen. We talked for almost an hour.

By the end of the conversation she was feeling better and thinking about what she can be grateful for: a weekend almost 4 days long right around the corner. A weekend that long is pretty rare in medical school. I'm grateful for that, too.

8 comments:

Katherine said...

What a lovely feeling it must be for her to know you are there to listen. That alone must lighten her load.

Delwyn said...

And I'm sure you are an empathic listener.

Today I have been thinking of Imagination, will and creativity.

Meri posted a quote from GB Shaw that I will repeat here.

Imagination is the beginning of creativity. You imagine what you desire. You will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.

Alden said...

I have read that the oriental mind has a completely different world view than the logical, causality concept of the western mind. They believe that sometimes difficult times or negative things can come in clusters. They say that if one or two negative things happen in row it is a good reason to stay at home for the day and do nothing - let the cluster pass as you would a very rainy day.

Mr. Kinder said...

Katherine, thank you for this. The older I get the more aware I am that we can't do this thing called life on our own and that we're all in this together. I think my daughter knows I feel this way and, though I haven't always in the past been the best listener, that she knows I'm trying to listen well and to listen better.

Mr. Kinder said...

Delwyn, I hope to become more empathetic each day. It's an on-going project. Regarding the Imagination: I think that developing my own and my students' imaginations is among the most important work I do as a kindergarten teacher. Today while singing "Down by the Bay" a boy suggested the rhyme, "Have you ever seen a box kissing a fox?" and we went about imagining that image, giving the box legs, arms, and a big kisser.

Mr. Kinder said...

Alden, I don't think I've ever read such a thing, but it sure seems to work that way in my life. Good fortune and ill fortune seem to run in streaks in my life, just as you describe. I haven't had the good sense to stay home when the fates seem to array themselves to block my progress. Perhaps I should apply some Eastern wisdom to my life.

Delwyn said...

Gratitude today - I am a blank slate...not that I don't have anything to be grateful for but that everything I have, see and do I am grateful for. So I will think back over the day so far: and the conversation I had with Julie, my 'bestest' friend comes to mind...

for friends and nourishing conversation
that lead to connection
that leads to continuity of communication and community.

Not so hard after all....

Mr. Kinder said...

That's the great thing about inclining the mind towards happiness or gratitude. You can get to the end of a day that was really not so easy. Just the kind of day that before you'd say, "Damn, I'm glad that day's done."

Inclining towards happiness does not get rid of days like that, but at least you end the day reframing the mind towards gratitude, and, sure enough, material to feel grateful for arises.

Thanks, Delwyn.