This I Believe

judith - oak park`, Illinois
Entered on July 31, 2007

I Never Knew…

I believe that it is the very acts of kindness that are demonstrated in silence – that are not made known to others – that define the depth of one’s generosity and spirit.

While I was always aware growing up that my mom was the “mother” to our block of 73 kids handing out Band-Aids, kool-aid and hugs –

and while I knew that she was the mom during our teenage years who all our friends came to for perspective and validation of their teenage angst –

and while I also knew that after she retired (because she was NEVER home) that she ran errands and brought meals to all her “senior” friends in her condo community when she was a senior herself…

It was only after she died that my siblings and I truly realized the breadth and depth of our mother’s kindness and generosity.

It was the telephone call from an old neighbor’s daughter who told me of the time her mom was in hospice at the hospital and my mom sat with her for two days until her mom died. I never knew…

It was the landscape contractor who shared with me that my mom, unsolicited, was instrumental in advocating for him to secure the contract with her condominium association, allowing him to take care of his family. I never knew…

It was the inordinate number of virtual strangers who shared a story with us about the time our mom… sat and held them when they were sad, gave them money when they needed it, sent a card to tell them she was thinking of them, drove them to the doctor and waited with them before bringing them home, babysat their children, shared her contagious smile with them at the grocery store and asked how they were doing. I never knew…

I believe that listening to these stories and hearing the gratitude, love and respect that these folks had for my mom was her final but everlasting gift

to me…….

Every day, it continues to teach me the lessons of kindness and generosity – not to receive recognition, appreciation or acknowledgement, but as my intrinsic responsibility to others. This was the way that my mom lived her life.

This I believe.