Ghosts Of Christmas Past – Feeling Connected

Baby's First Christmas 1960

Harper Family Christmas - 1960 - Gene, Elizabeth, & Judy

I’ve always been someone who asked a lot of questions so much so that sometimes when I say,”John …” from another room he will answer with, ” Let me ask you something ” repeating words he’s heard me say many times before.

It’s disconcerting for some people, they think I’m being nosy or too intense, but all I really want to know is who they are and what matters most to them.

Years ago, someone said that he wished he could talk to his girlfriend the way he could me. He added that he felt connected to me in a way he wished he could have with her. I told him that I thought questions were important when it came to feeling connected and the reason he felt connected to me was because I’d encouraged him to share who he was by asking the right question.

I said that he needed to ask his girlfriend a few questions that mattered to him and then listen. Ask and listen … don’t think, plan your next question, or worry about having to fix anything, just ask your question and pay attention to the response. I heard later that they got married and from what I see on Facebook, they still look very happy together.

I wish I knew more of what my mother and father dreamed of for their own lives growing up and what kind of life they imagined for me that first Christmas. I wished I’d asked more questions when my father was living and my mother still speaking to me.

Sometimes we think we have forever … another year, another Christmas, another chance to connect and we put off important questions until it’s too late. People die or leave us in some way and the things that need saying are lost or never asked.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Think of the one question you wish you could ask and then consider what’s stopping you and move past it.

6 thoughts on “Ghosts Of Christmas Past – Feeling Connected

  1. Thats very deep thinking lass, and your right, and we say yes I will do that, and then we get sidetracked and it all goes out of our heads until the next time we pause and wonder.
    Happy Crimbo to both you and John and all of your family where ever they may be, remember if your connected, your never apart.

  2. I understand this post completely, having lost my father 15 years ago and appreciating every day that I have with my mother, who is 85.

    WHen I came home from my freshman year at university, I asked my father what his dreams were and he said that he lived his dreams through me. At the time, that answer made me incredibly sad. Now I understand it more. And I’m happy to say that my father got to live out some of his personal dreams in the last five years of his life when he and Mom lived overseas.

    Merry Christmas Elizabeth and John!

  3. Wonderful idea!
    I have a question that you probably covered in your site but I have not read. Why is your mother not talking to you?

    My own mother haven’t talk to me for years. She is now 75. Once I got married, although she likes my husband, she disappeared from my life. And when my father died, 10 years ago, she moved far away-she’s very independent. I have always tried to reach out to her, but she has always been aloof. You see, my little bother is her favorite. I have no problem with this, since I like my brother and I’m not the jealous type. What is curious is that my mother made it a point to let everyone know, she only wanted to have boys and no girls. Since I can’t change my sex, I’ve tried to ignore her comments and even send her Christmas presents, to no avail. My husband says I should just let it go and be happy with my life which is a blessing. I’m happy, but her behaviors baffles me, I have two children, a young man and a college girl and I love both the same way.

  4. I recall years ago i was on a course with about a dozen other young people, looking at things that lay outside of scientific explanation. There were speaekrs in a the morning and afternoons’ off and art things to do as well as a lot of deep conversations in the evening. One day i asked a question and it triggered a long exchange that ended up with me asking three of them, “You mean, if ABC happens, then XYZ s also true?” They nodded. When I asked them quite heatedly why they hadn’t said so before, they looked at me and one finally said, looking at me very kindly but also worried about my reaction: “Because you wouldn’t have listened to the answer.”

    Although today I can’t even recall what ABC or XYZ even was, I do recall the mortification I felt at their reply. I had been asking LOTS of questions…but I also knew in that instant that my questions drove to a point, or a perspective, that proved or disproved a hypothesis I’d already formulated, so “open” I really was not, big time. The course I was on was all about being open to other possibilities in medicine and scienece ..and there I was, embodying the very opposite. This was a big moment for me, a change in my life despite being such a little incident in itself. These folks actually still liked me despite my narrow views, for which I was eternally grateful as I SO wanted to be more open minded than I was…I just didn’t realise just how many ways that closed-mindedness was part of me.

    So a long story (sorry) to give background to my comment on your post: Yes ask questions..and try very hard to let those questions be open ones, for the answers may surprise you and lead you to parts and thoughts of a person that sometimes even they do not realise is there to be shared. It can be a very tender and rewarding experience for all involved.

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