November 25, 2018 – Mail Tribune –

One of my readers once wrote a melancholy email telling me no one was listening to her. Her children were far away, and when they came to visit, they talked to each other and not to her. She had things to say — no one was listening.

During the holidays, families spend time with one another in ways that never occur the rest of the year. Entire days are filled with talking and reminiscing. Stories are told, and with the balm of the years, previously unknown facts surface.

Family discussions during holiday get-togethers have helped me come to recognize the portly cat we had when our kids were teenagers did in fact eat the pet gerbils (they were not “donated to a friend” as my 13-year-old stepson suggested at the time). And a few years ago I came to fully understand that the never-explained gouge in the girls’ bedroom wall really was an accident that occurred during a playful moment, not a mean-spirited one.

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Listening Seekers, what are your thoughts?

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