This week’s letter comes from long time volunteer listener, Debbie Sis.
I was feeling a little low not being able to go to BFS tonight and knowing it’s for the higher good but still feeling the loss. I went to Costco as I had purchased some extras but since things are really closing up….decided to brave it and get what I need for awhile and then stay home. It took me over an hour to check out at Costco. There was an older lady standing next to me and I smiled at her. I ended up listening to her for 45 min. She’s from a village of 900 by the Bering Sea. They got word they will not have supplies for over 30 days. She was here for a medical appt. and trying to think about what she could take back on Bering Air. It felt good to listen to her and I left feeling so much gratitude as well as love for my fellow Alaskans and community at large. I went on to Carrs and a lady was visiting with me all the way out to the parking lot till we went different ways. I called a couple of family friends who are elderly and listened to them by phone.
It felt good to continue to be listening and holding space….as that has been my life for the last almost 12 yrs. Longer than any of my prior jobs! I am also thankful that a few months ago, my very favorite guest….”P”, wanted a picture taken with me and a BFS staff member took it for us on my phone. Of course, when I texted it to them, they had my cell#. I’ve known them since that 1st night at BFS….Avie knows this guest. They have schizophrenia and have had the system not operate with compassion. Yet, they have the best sense of humor and a deep wisdom about life. They only text me every 10 days maybe with a “Hi”…or “send me a pic of a kitten” and they sends a selfie.
I texted them to say I would not be at BFS out of consideration of not bringing any notice of our pause in services to them. Often they are there on Mondays, because they know I”ll be there. I texted them and also asked them to share with a few of our regulars….why we are not there and that we are thinking about them and holding them close in heart regardless of not being there. I’ve never been so thankful for breaking a guideline with awareness (our guidelines include not letting someone use your phone nor give them your personal number – our guidelines also say if you break the lines, do so with awareness!). This has given my long-time guest purpose and maintains the connection….I’m texting them a couple of sentences every other day and they respond every few days with a short text. This is listening…and Presence…and all that we are….an energetic “listening post”.
I just wanted to share that we really are not on hiatus…it felt good to realize I was still listening and just shifting the focus from my usual peeps to a wider community and now that I’m staying home for the most part….even calling friends who live alone and home.
We don’t stop…we just evolve. As always, we benefit by continuing to give.
Love and Gratitude for all that we are….just couldn’t help sharing….