Listening in Tongues (3)


[Shoulders: Louisville, KY, June, 2016]

As a Wheelock College sophomore, I was required to take “HGD” (Human Growth and Development) for an entire year. Aka Ages and Stages, the course ended at adolescence. Yup! When you turned twenty-one, HGD implied, you, me, all of us were done! Finished. Realized. (Really?)

Luckily, in 1976, eleven years into my own (developmentally vague and misunderstood) adulthood, Gail Sheehy published Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life—and rocked my world. Sheehy gave me a whole new set of ages and stages I could imagine myself moving through. Someday I’ll be middle-aged, I realized. Someday, perhaps, I’ll be a grandmother.

And so, the other day, when I got into a suddenly-deep, suddenly touchingly-honest conversation—re “adulting”— with a fifty-year-old father I’d just met, a part of me was able to step back from the conversation to silently acknowledge: he and I are in very different places developmentally. I have already lived through what he’s now experiencing. (I won’t repeat what he told me. It’s his story to share, not mine.) Surely, to remember such adult ages-and-stages is yet another way to listen in tongues.

So it didn’t surprise me when I told him my latest adulting/being-a-grandmother story—and he didn’t get it. (He blinked politely. But he didn’t get it.) For what it’s worth, here it is: Last Monday, just for a moment, as my four-year-old granddaughter put her heart, mind, and soul into lifting her vintage Radio Flyer (Lord knows why!), I saw in her determined, little face the woman she will become. And I was both grateful to see that vision and welled up realizing I might not live long enough to see my actual, over-21 grandchild.

Such preciousness and such mindfulness in that teary moment!

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always dearly special and dearly precious soul sisterfriend who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!! Wow, sister, wow Patricia!!!! Sister, I’m just so very glad that there is another part with this third part of Listening in Tongues, and in fact I’ve been praying, hoping, and wishing for more of this series, Patricia!!!!! Wow!!!! What masterful composition in the written word as you have delightfully composed with such beautiful descriptive clarity and grace this very spectacular blog post article here, my so, so very dear friend! Patricia, the title of this great blog post article is just absolutely perfect here accompanied by the sweet picture you have very graciously and generously featured that perfectly adds to and complements this very fine and excellent writing because the sheer joy which children bring to people even when they are not our children or if people don’t have children with this astounding picture perfectly accents the great theme and topic of this stupendous article of yours here, sister of mine! The words with this so, so very cute and adorable picture are just perfect here and right on to the very point, friend of mine, Patricia! Sister, your Wheelock college “HGD” course sounds like it had been very interesting, Patricia. I would’ve had that same sense at that age that the class implied that people were done with all of their stages when they turned twenty-one. I, too, would have said to myself these very same words, “Finished. Realized. (Really?) Sisterfriend, I thank-you so, so very much for once again as usual as always very graciously and generously providing and including some very interesting, fascinating, and powerful links with this magnificent and very engaging blog post article. What a joy and a blessing these links which you include are for sure and such great reading, too, Patricia!!!!! Sister, it is very great to see this link again about your alma mater with your all-star Wheelock College. What an absolutely fantastic academic institution Wheelock College is for certain, my friend!!!!! Patricia, I haven’t yet read this awesome book by our Gail Sheehy. This is a must read!!!!! Patricia, You give me such powerful ideas for marvelous reading, my sister! Wow, when I think of the great sharing you had with the fifty-year-old father you had just met, I think of myself at the age of 54 and how I am middle-aged, too, like this man is as well. I am very, very much enjoying being middle-aged, sisterfriend!!!! Sister, I am so much happier that when I was a lot younger, healthier in mind and spirit, with better self-esteem, self-confidence, self-love, and I have more wisdom, insight, and a greater, better perspective than I did when I was a lot younger, Patricia!!!! I so look forward to my elderly years which still seem a little far away for me yet these years feel closer to me now that I am in my fifties, friend and sister of mine, Patricia. I have so, so very dearest and darling friends of all ages like you, dear, dear, precious Patricia! Most of my close friends are older than I am, my friend! I see my own mortality more so since I am in my fifties but I don’t have any immediate plans:)!!!!! When I very joyfully read your very sharp words which you share and declare here, “Surely, to remember such adult ages-and-stages is yet another way to listen in tongues,” I very joyously, delightfully, and eagerly think to myself, wow here, you are so right on here, Patricia-what a brilliant statement full of such astute and acute sagacity and so, so very true, Patricia!

    I so enjoy reading about your so, so very precious, special, blessed, and beloved four-year-old granddaughter, sister Patricia! Your so, so very dearest and darling granddaughter sounds so, so very cute and adorable, Patricia! Wow, she is so strong to be able to lift up her vintage Radio Flyer, friend Patricia! I had a red wagon as a toddler but I can’t remember if it was a vintage Radio Flyer. In our storage room in my apartment complex we actually have an old, rusty red Radio Flyer, along with a long pull cart, jumbo shopping cart, and two regular sized shopping carts which we as tenants use to cart up our groceries and other stuff to our apartments. I wonder how my landlord and management were able to get access to the grocery shopping carts-maybe the grocery stores donated them to us or maybe even discarded them in giving them away. Wow, all of these help me greatly and immensely to take up my groceries and other stuff up the elevator to the second floor where my apartment is, sister! Sister, I so love and enjoy your sweetly endearing words at the end of this splendid article when you say very profoundly, “Such preciousness and such mindfulness in that teary moment!” Yes, very much indeed here, Patricia! What very dear words to warm my very heart, and to warm the very hearts of each and every one of us as your very, very many grateful and appreciative readers, Patricia!

    Wow, Patricia, I so, so very much enjoyed with such sheer delightful eagerness and joyous blessing this fabulous blog post article of yours here just as I do all of your other magnificent blog post articles and other remarkable writings!!!!! Wow!!!!! Yay!!!!! Reading your cool full of spirit blog post articles and other great writings are such joys, blessings, and pleasure for me, and responding with my very heartfelt, thorough, and detailed thoughts, ideas, and comments provide me with such joy!!!!! For Always I feel even more cheerful and brighter as I read all of your writings and respond to them, sister, in being very uplifted, inspired, renewed, rejuvenated, reinvigorated, and re-energized, Patricia!!!!! Wow!!!!! I am praying so hard, so much, and so often that you find an agent and a publisher for what I know will be such a fine read, Welling Up, Patricia!!!!! I’m going to buy this as soon as it is hot off of the presses, Patricia!!!!! I pray for and think of YOU, Patricia, daily and very frequently sending also positive energy to you, sisterfriend of mine, for your dear husband, David, for your dearest Loved One in the long-term care facility, for all of the rest of your awesome family, for your very blessedly holy and pure in heart friendsfamily at your Friends Meeting at Cambridge, and for all of the rest of your very, very many friends, my friend!!!!! I thank-YOU, Patricia, and each and every one of you for praying for and thinking of me with sending such positive energy to me-all of your prayers and thoughts for me are such great blessings and help me and I can for sure feel all of your very prayers and thoughts for me!!!!! Thank-you all so!!!!! Yay for our sisterhood and friendship, Patricia!!!! Yay!!!!! Yay for each and every one of you!!!!!! Yay yay yay yay!!!!! Patricia, you are my very, very joy and blessing, and help me greatly and immensely with my walk with God my so, so very dearest Christian Quaker sisterfriend!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you’re For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with Such Very Peace and Love To You For Always, my sister, and with Such Very Blessings and Such Very More Blessings To You For Always, my friend,

    Yours For Always sisterfriend Christian black woman For Always and For Always in the very spirit and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

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