I have spent much of the day listening. I have visited with five older people who live in a retirement community near me. Each of my older friends lives alone. They get lonely. Sometimes, I just go visit, and listen. I learn a lot, and enjoy providing a way for my friends to share their stories, background, history, and occasional advice or insights.

I might lift a hammer, wrench, screwdriver, or a can of WD-40 and fix something while I’m there. That’s why I tell them I’m coming. But the real reason I am there is to give them someone to talk to, in person. It makes a world of difference — to them and to me. Meanwhile, that squeaky door gets fixed, or the light bulbs get replaced, and that ding-danged leaky faucet stops leaking.

Just a way to spend some time with some important people in my life. And a great thing to do on a rainy day. Kick off my boots at the door, give a warm smile, a big hug, share a cookie, fix something, and just listen.

Life is short: show those you love that you love them, each and every day.