I have to admit that years ago Lee invited me to attend one of the Time Management seminars that he was teaching in Dallas.
I lived only 90 miles away, and so I went when he invited me. The reason that I knew he was teaching this course is that I noticed a big change in his behavior. He finally told me why his behavior had changed and for the better I might add.
One day Lee called me on a Sunday and said, “Hi, Mom.” I said, “Hi, Lee. I am so glad to hear from you.” You see Lee, at that time, would call me about every three months if I were lucky. He never wrote me a letter to let me know how he and Priscilla and Daniel were doing. It did not seem like a big deal, as we had all gotten used to this routine and did not think that much about it. It is funny how habits just become routine; and even if they are not good ones, they become the way it is.
We talked for a few minutes, and Lee said goodbye and that was that. Well, the next Sunday Lee called again. My first question to him was, “What’s wrong?” He said, “Nothing, Mom. I just thought I would check in with you and say hello and give you an update on your grandson.”
We talked for a few minutes; and when I hung up, I thought that this was very strange that Lee called me two Sundays in a row. Later that day I saw my mother, who is Lee’s grandmother, and she said that Lee had called the last two Sundays just to say hello.
Now I am really wondering what is going on. Well the week went by, and do you believe it? The phone rings at 2 p.m., and who do you think it is? Yes, it is Lee. He says, “Hi, Mom.” My immediate and somewhat alarmed question to him even without a hello was, “Okay, Lee, what is wrong? Are you sick, or do you need money?”
He laughed and said, “No, I am fine; and I don’t need any money . . . but if you gave me some, I would take it.”
He finally admitted to me that he had taken this Time Management course a few weeks ago, and the instructor said to the group, “How many of you call or write to your loved ones every week, like your mother or grandmother?” Lee said that this statement was like a dagger through his heart. He was guilty of not doing this at all. He said that the instructor went on to say that this kind of habit is not so much for your mother or grandmother as it is for you. He went on to say that some day they will not be here, and you will feel really bad that you did not communicate more frequently with them.
Lee said he realized that he was way too focused just on his career and needed to pay a lot more attention to his family and loved ones as well as his health. He told me that the lessons he learned in class around balance were powerful ones.
Lee said that day he wrote a reminder in his Day-Timer® to call me and his grandmother every Sunday. He continued to do that, and I must say that I really looked forward to that Sunday call . . . and, of course, his grandmother told everyone who would listen that her grandson calls her every Sunday.
So when he came to Dallas, I went down and watched him teach that class; and I was so proud of the moment in the class when he used his love for me as an example of remembering to do the right things. He never ever even forgot my birthday again.
So the lesson here is that there are many important things to pay attention to in your life. Now, you go call your mother or another person you care about and just say “hi.” . . . Mother
Lee, your blog today from your mother was great and the other one this week was as well. As you are aware, Heather, Andrew and I live two minutes from my parents who are both in failing health. I find refuge (for myself) in hiding from them because it is too painful to see the day to day decline. You made me realize how sorry I will be some day when I would give anything to hear my Mother’s voice again. Thank you especiall for this lesson….Fondly, George
Thanks Lee, what a great inspiration to not fall in to the trap of not finding time to communicate with those people in your life who are so important to you. I will share with my matt, Beckie and Nate.