Janelle's Blog

Uncle Donny and Aunt Marie

This season on ABC’s TV show, “Dancing With the Stars,” one of the favorite dancers is Marie Osmond. The Osmond Family has been one of the most loved singing families for 50 years. You may recall the TV variety show, “Donny and Marie,” that was popular in the 70’s. We were all sad for the Osmond Family to hear of the death of George Osmond, the family patriarch, this week.

I have casually crossed paths with four of the Osmonds over the past few years and have found them to be some of the nicest, most polite people I have ever been around. We appreciate the generous support Donny gives NBCF with our annual Pink Ribbon Challenge.

One such meeting came a few years ago at a non-descript airport while I was waiting to board a plane.

The Art of Listening

It wasn’t that long ago when you could carry more than two bags on the plane. I arrived at the airport a few minutes before boarding time juggling my luggage and a 5 ft. banner rolled up in a carrying tube, which I realized too late, was not one of my best ideas. Things were falling in every direction. A quiet, young man noticed my struggle and offered his help.

“Thanks,” I said, “I can sure use the help.” I plopped my luggage and banner beside my chair and sat down to rest. As we started to talk, I introduced myself, but didn’t listen to him when he said his name.

He said something like, “Osmó”

“Where is your home?” I asked.

“Branson,” he said.

I continued on with the mechanics of asking questions, never really listening to his answers. “What kind of work do you do?” I asked.

“We’re in the music business. It’s a family business,” he said.

“Oh that’s nice,” I said.

All Aboard

Our flight was called and this kind, young man helped me all the way past the gate and onto the plane. As we boarded, we talked a little more, and he mentioned something about “Uncle Donny and Aunt Marie”.

At that point, I muttered to myself, “Oh, no.” I was embarrassed that not only had I overlooked all of the obvious clues, but I was perturbed at myself for missing a wonderful opportunity to get to know someone special.

The Best is Yet to Come

We wrap our lives around our own needs and problems and block out opportunities that nearly knock us down. If breast cancer is in your life, there are immediate physical needs to attend to, but keep your eyes open to blessings coming your way. Connecting with people is what it’s all about. Here are some connecting tips:

  1. When you talk to someone, look that person in the eye. Connect by giving your full attention. The default is to multi-task while talking, but when you give your bodily attention to the person you are talking to, you will engage his or her emotions.

  3. Listen to understand, not only the words, but read the body language that goes with those words.

  5. Find one interesting thing about that person as he or she talks and explore it in the conversation.

You’ll be surprised that you start encountering fascinating people. They may not be famous, but your circle of friends will increase and your life will be enriched by caring people. You may find new friends at our online community, MyNBCF.

Thought for Today:

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.” Doug Larson

Live Life,


Reader's Comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://janellehail.wpengine.com/2007/11/uncle-donny-and-aunt-marie/trackback/