Monday, December 13, 2010

A kettle full of kindness

I met her briefly a few weeks ago. We were having an early Thanksgiving lunch, for the tenants and their guests. She had just returned from being away. It would have been fun to say that she had just returned from a cruise, where she got to see the rest of the world. Or knowing what I have learned recently, to say she had returned from overseas, helping others. As a nurse, helping others had been her life. She also knew that being a nurse allowed her to have the independence she wanted. As well as finding employment easily, to keep moving on.



But no, she had returned from a skilled nursing unit, to her little apartment in the Senior Housing complex that I have the privilege to work at. She had had open-heart surgery. She was gracious, full of kindness and she also had red hair. She loved to garden, and did so in the courtyard for everyone to enjoy. Meticulously marking out the grounds to know where the most sun was during the day, in order to plan well, and have the best flower garden.  For Kathleen, independence included her enjoyment of time spent alone. It is difficult to get to know folks who enjoy such an activity. But I respect their ways and their choices.
 

It is also a difficult office task, to locate family not listed on paperwork, when the independent are in charge! When we finally met that afternoon, I was both enriched and saddened by the memories shared by a brother who came to collect what he could, by way of our memories and information, of a sister not seen for so many years. During his visit was my only opportunity to really get to know her, and what a kind lady she was.

I have worked in one capacity or another for over 10 years, caring for people. By extension that includes caring about the people, that care about, my people. This work is different than one would expect. Personal emotions are honed daily, in the living and some days in the dying. I have learned so much, during these years and there is one truth that must be shared.  

Love does endure

Kathleen was just one of those folks, who helped me to grow, even more. Such quiet strength and determination to be independent, displayed with kindness and grace. I am not able to thank her, except by my future choices and behaviors.  I work hard now, but I have even bigger shoes to fill tomorrow.

As you know, there is always something to clean or something that needs to be taken care of. We don’t see it that way at the time, but these tactile tasks keep us in check. We need them, we really do. When you cook, after wards you need to clean the kitchen. When you have a child's birthday party, often the whole house! And when you lose someone, a complete home. Their home.


It is a different cleaning, than the soap and water kind. It is soft and quiet, a wandering through their life, as you carefully pack personal items and, the entire household up. Most for family and friends, and the rest for charity* or those in need.



 
This kettle was in her kitchen. I knew immediately, I needed this kettle. It is durable, scrubs up good as new, and is strong enough to last for many more years to come. Positive traits, in kettles and human beings as well. I look forward to scrubbing, a little re-seasoning on the inside and cooking with it. For a meal shared, around the table, with my family.  Until then........ food to feed the soul. A recipe for kindness, so that love may endure.

 

Kindness
Serves all, as many times as desired.

Ingredient list:
A whoop of happiness, within your heart
A smile given freely, to others
A life of work, that is pride driven
A family to be connected to, even if miles apart
A meal shared, the food does not matter
A love of music, a feast for the ears
A desire to learn, so that you may teach
A natural curiosity, fuels a spring in your step

Stir together gently, as the separate ingredients are special. Enjoy it all, to the last drop. You will not be over fed. Mix and repeat, tomorrow and each day forward.

I thank you for this time to share at Hearth n Soul @ a moderate life

* a donation has been made to a designated charity, in exchange for the kettle.


8 comments:

a moderate life said...

Ahhhh melly! HUGE hugs! I told you previously I spent a lot of time visiting with the residents at my grandmother's nursing home before she passed and the lessons learned and the kindnesses exchanged were life blessings to me. My grandmother's name was Kathleen also and she was independent almost to the end. What a blessing it is you got to meet her and be inspired by her energy and spirit! I also love the poem you wrote and yep, I would have wanted that kettle too just as I wanted and have my grandmother's mortar and pestle. Some things are above diamonds in their value, aren't they? Thanks so much for sharing on the hearth and soul hop this week! Now I need a tissue! HUGS again! Alex

Miz Helen said...

Oh Miz Mylynda,
I had to get the tissues. I want to share this with some of my friends for our little Christmas Get Together. Thank you for sharing this post and your kindness.

Sense of Home said...

Well spoken, this made me think of those I have lost, somehow the comments about cleaning, wandering through someone's life, got to me.

-Brenda

Butterpoweredbike said...

Kindness - the true endless feast. I'll be sharing your "recipe" with many people. Thank you for always bringing such heartwarming posts to the Hearth and Soul hop.

21st Century Housewife© said...

This is a beautiful, touching, thought provoking post. Thank you so much for sharing it. I needed a tissue too!

girlichef said...

Beautiful :)...and yes I have tears streaming down my face. This is the best recipe I've seen in ages. You are a wonderful, caring woman and I'm so happy to have "met" you through the hearth and soul hop...and so glad that you hang out with us every week :D Hugs!

Butterpoweredbike said...

Melynda - I want to thank you again for sharing your writing talents with the Hearth and Soul hop. And I wanted to let you know that you are my one and only selection for my Best of the Blog Hop post this week, because your recipe is so special, and so appropriate for the season.

Swathi said...

This beautiful post,yes kindness always remain, my mom used to say,because of lot of good people this world is pleasant palace to stay, otherwise it won't be here. Loved your post.