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Dear Lexi. Two decades ago I was given the gift of Parkinson's (I cannot remember if I ever mentioned this in emails or comments to you). One of the greatest gifts (of many) bestowed on me was patience. I was lucky, in that in my career, I helped companies 'turn themselves around' and consequently had to 'pay attention' to the many people working with me. When I was sidelined by my family doc, perhaps by Franciscan habit (raised as one), I took the opportunity to stop and listen to every person that approached me, friends and strangers alike. No, I did not have that 'ten minutes'', supposedly. But I always stopped and listened to their 'story' of the day, often nodding my head so they know I was listening. Never offered much advice. That and two bucks will buy you a cup of coffee. Suggestions I did offer, since being a patient and by need becoming something of an 'expert' amateur med guy (worse than amateur theologians!) after two plus decades. Somehow, the One who made us all gave me the gift to listen. And when you listen to someone one, you help make them whole. At least for a few moments. And sometimes that is enough.

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