Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Life, love, and Valden

Today is the day when our Storytellers club goes to read to the residents of a nursing home here in Blowgan. I've been in charge of organizing it and picking people up, finding books to read, etc. So needless to say, there are days when I selfishly want it to be over because I have lots to do. But every time I go, I feel better. Today I got to visit with a dear old guy that I've spoken with once before. His name's Valden.

As I was listening to the things that he was telling me about, it was clear that these were the most important things in his life. He talked to me several times about his mission president and what a great man he was. He over and over told me how wonderful and sweet his wife was. He adores his children--he kept saying how he hoped I could meet them someday because they were such wonderful people. Isn't that the sweetest thing? As I listened to these things, I just started to adore this man and felt so happy for him. He talks about his life and the people in it with such love. I want to talk about my life and the people in it like that. It was lovely.

One thing that really hit me was his infinite patience. It seems that some old people can be short on patience and grumpy. Valden is the exact opposite. Every word he spoke was drenched in kindness. If he couldn't hear something that I asked him, with genuine sweetness and interest he'd say, "I'm sorry dear, I didn't quite catch that." In a world that's so fast paced, it was nothing short of a pleasure being around someone so kind and patient.

Some of my favorite moments:

I asked him about his wife. They had 5 children together and, from what I understand, she died really young--leaving him all the little kids to raise. He met her at college. He said, "I knew the moment I saw her that she was someone I'd like to love." I loved that. He didn't claim that he loved her from the beginning. But he knew he wanted to. He said, "eventually I saw what she was and there was love there."

One of his eyes was really red and puffy. It looked like it hurt really bad. He'd rub it every now and then but never mentioned it or complained. As I was about to leave he said, "You be careful of all the wolves out there." I looked at him a little puzzled and said, "Wolves?" He smiled and said, "Yeah. A pretty girl like you needs to be careful of wolves. You need to only keep company with good men." haha What a dear right? He then told me that you only need to spend a week with someone to know if they're going to be good for you or not--male or female. What do you think about that?

What a sweet sweet man. I love the way he talks. I love his faith. I love his obvious love for his family. I love that after talking to him for only an hour, he was giving me advice about who to "keep company" with. It made me wonder what things I'll be talking to people about when I'm old. I want to talk to people like he does. I want to talk about the people in my life with that amount of love. Mmm...it was just lovely to be able to talk with someone that is so good. It made me think about a lot of things. Just thought I'd share.


  1. "I knew she was someone I'd like to love." That was so sweet. What a sweet guy.

  2. This was a lovely post. I adore most all your posts, but this one kind of tops the chart...I have always been and continue to be so grateful that the Lord put other people on this Earth to go through life with us...it would be so lonely without them.

  3. this was a very sweet and lovely post. grazie mille mall.