“I’m sorry to bother you again.”
“”Dad, you’re not bothering me. Call anytime.”
My dad apologizes like this when he calls me. Sometimes, I think he says it just so he can hear my response. Because, isn’t it true, who doesn’t want validation and assurance that their presence is welcomed.
I’m sorry to bother you again.
My dad used to need a reason to call me up on the phone. At least, in his mind he thought he needed a reason to call and talk. Nowadays, he just calls for something to do and for someone to talk to for a little bit. My dad isn’t much of a people person, but I am reminded that even anti-people people need people…if that makes sense.
I feel bad because quite often I have nothing new to report to him during the weekday. Yes, it’s still cold. Yes, Sean is still enjoying school. Yes, my job is going fine.
And his day? The same as everyday, his roommate’s constant coughing keeps him awake most of the night,, the kids that live in the house are loud, but the food is not too bad.
That’s how our conversations go almost every single day and our phone calls rarely last more than five minutes.
I admit, it’s very easy for me to become distracted on these calls. I think this happens for a couple of reasons. 1. I’m a chronic multi-tasker 2. If I stop too long to think about my dad’s situation, it makes me sad. I’m 2000 miles away and I often feel powerless to make it any better. Yesterday, after he said it again “I’m sorry to bother you” I was convicted.
Five minutes, Eileen. What’s five minutes? If I can’t give someone I love five minutes of undivided attention then there’s something seriously wrong. Giving a person five minutes of our time might mean the difference between someone feeling like a bother or someone feeling loved and accepted.
Who needs five minutes of your focused attention today? Who needs you to step away from your computer and phone and be all there? Who needs you to look them in the eye and really listen as they share…even if it’s something you’ve heard a hundred times?
Five minutes. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to reassure a person in your life that they matter to you.