So my sisterbestfriend had these little thingies taken off her vocal chords the other day. Nothing to be that concerned about (?)...she has had a strained hoarsey voice for several months now - and went to a ENT who stuck something up her nose to see and 'Voila' ...nodules on her vocal chords.
About 40 years ago - our dad had this too. He had to have them removed and couldn't speak for a few days. We called him 'Frankenstein' because he had a scar that went practically from ear to ear and little sutures that resembled the bolts that were on the monster. Then, he had to go to a therapist to learn how to talk correctly - - from the diaghragm not the throat. Maybe that's just about the time Daddy developed and perfected 'The Poppy Face' - a scowly lowered brow menacing look that could capapble of extracting the truth out of even the most verdant liar. In those days...they cut you open for this type of procedure. Nowadays - they go in through the nose and snip*snip - it's over in less than an hour.
So my sister had this done on Wednesday. The rule was she couldn't talk for 48 hours and then has to be on vocal bedrest for about two weeks. And, if you know my sister - not talking is harder than , I don't know - not breathing!! The. Woman. Likes. To . Talk. Add to that she talks for a living, and not just for sport and she has a cell phone where her ears should be - and this will be the longest 48 hours in her life!
So we make a plan - since she can't talk...she can either just blow into the phone - or better yet, she can *beep* once for yes and *beep*beep* twice for no.
So I call her and ask her if how she is feeling (*beep*) if she got good drugs (*beep*beep*) and if this no talking thing is killing her (*beep*). I realize that in order for this 'beeping' plan to work, I have to ask questions answerable with a simple yes or no answer. Having failed miserable at that - since , to me, nothing worth asking is answerable with a simple yes or no - I decide to email her.
I write that for me it would be no problem and how I would love not to talk to anyone for two weeks....she responds that she would rather not listen to anyone for two weeks. Ha-Ha!!
So then it got me thinking (which is always a dangerous thing)- as to the difference between speaking and talking and the differences between listening and hearing...I like to think of myself as someone who speaks and listens rather than someone who simply talks and hears. No offense to my sisterbestfriend - but she talks more than she listens.
If there was one gift I could give my children - it would be the gift of listening. That means really taking an effort to hearing something, comprehending, processing, paying attention - whatever you want to call it. That means not formulating your next sentence in your head in mid-conversation...that means not asking a question unless you are willing to wait and hear the answer...that means being patient....that means caring...that means empathy....that means everything.