Thursday, April 22, 2010

Through the years, things come back to you, memories, impressions that you gleaned as a child. There is one I have of an open hand, a generous spirit of hospitality.

We whispered amongst ourselves when my mother brought her stray cats into the house. She was always doing that - bringing in the people we would despise. There were always renegades around; the kind of people others would stare at, the kind others would reject.

They were the guests at our table.

It was a lesson in kindness I have never forgotten. A glimpse into humility. Looking back I think my mother saw something I failed to see as a child, I think she must have felt a love directed toward herself much greater than anything we could imagine to be so loving to the unpalatable.

Is there a bit of that legacy for me? My mother has asked us to put our names on things in her house for when she's dead ... so we will know what belongs to whom. I've never liked the idea; in truth, I've teased her about it.

But will she put a label on her love? Will she write my name on that legacy to carry when she's gone?


Anonymous said...

A person often wonders how your actions will affect those around you. Oh, I always knew that it was not pleasant for you "kids" to have the "strays" but you all were always pleasant and kind to those people and thus have learned a valuable lesson. Thanks for these words. They are very meaningful to me. Your Mom

Debbie said...

Apparently I am blog-stalking you. It started because I wanted to read back and see if I could find out why you refer to Kurt as the Russian in your blogs. But now I find myself mesmerized by your words, your thoughts, your intelligence. Is this my friend that made ice plant salad with me? You've become the most amazing woman.

I remember that you often had "extras" living in that big house on Baldwin Avenue. I don't think I ever thought of it that way though. Probably because I wished I lived there, too.