Friday, July 25, 2008

Share an older relation that has added meaning to your lifeLife

The “older” (in physical years only) friend that has had the most impact on my life was called Kitty. She was in her 80's, a potter and the muse of many. She was a genteel, Southern (US) lady, yet Bohemian, laughed hardily aloud, and loved to drink Jack Daniels. She wore her wedding ring and dearly loved her husband 20+ years after his death. It was hard to know much about her, because she would always say, " I know about me, Sweetie. I want to know about you."

Quite often, I stopped by and had tea and speculation with this dear friend. I like most people felt special in Kitty’s presence, all because of the undivided attention that she gave for a short period of time—each time, every time. And she did this with friends, neighbors, people on the street, the sangha that met at her home, the prison sangha, troubled school kids, anyone and everyone.

Kitty took a major trip somewhere in the world every year...and her form of travel was never easy, luxurious--though she could afford it. She wanted to experience, not be buffeted from experience. She died in a car accident one winter in Vietnam, traveling to a Buddhist monastery. Many people grieved, and still do, at the loss the physical loss of this gentle heart. She is still a muse.

I wrote about Kitty in “Compassion so Subtle It’s Sublime.”

Now it’s your turn. What older friend or relation has had the most positive effect on your life?

copyright 2008 CG Walters

C.G. Walters’s current novel, Sacred Vow is a metaphysical novel about a man who responds to the mysterious call of a woman, opening the way to redefinition of both himself and his understanding of the world around him…Highly recommended. —Midwest Book Review.

In celebration of CG’s upcoming non-fiction book, **Strike a Chord of Silence, for a limited time autographed/signed copies of Sacred Vow are available for $4.00US plus shipping!– or purchase as ebook or the Amazon Kindle version


Anonymous said...

Mrs Mays was the older friend who had the greatest impact on me.

I started out working for her son in a clerical position in his law office. His secretary asked me to look over an ad that he had intended to post in the newspaper looking for a companion for his elderly Mother.
The wording and all sounded right.

As I left work that afternoon, I thought about it and the next day I went into his office and proposed that I be the companion he was looking for to care for his 85 year old Mother. I explained that he could easily replace my position, and I was someone he knew and trusted. With little reaction, he said he would think about it and get back to me.

I was in my 30's, married with 2 young children. Working part time at his office. The companion position would offer me greater flexibility.

The next morning bright and early he called me in his office.
He was uncharacteristically ecstatic at the idea of me working with his Mother.

Mrs Mays was an independent sort of lady. She lived in her apartment and only recently had she very reluctantly given up driving.

I met his Mom and we instantly fell in love with one another.
Both of my Grandmothers had passed early when I was a child and I truly felt as God blessed me with another.
My children even came to call her 'Grandma Mays'.

Mrs Mays graduated from college in 1918 with a degree in pharmacology. It was nearly unheard of for a female to be a pharmacist in those days. She explained that the only reason she was accepted into the school was because of 'the shortage of boys, due to World War l'.

Even in her advanced age, there was not one topic that she could not cover. She kept up with local and world news and listening to her stories was often times like a live history lesson.

She valued me and the things I had to say in a way that I had never encountered in anyone before.

After taking care of her for a couple of years, she suffered a stroke that left her mind in good shape, but physically she was quite limited.
I went through classes and learned how to care for her.
She then started round the clock care. Eventually there was a slipping of her mental facilities.
At that time the family made the choice to transfer her to a facility for extended care.

Our time together was about 5 years. A blessing.
She passed in May of 1990.

There was one day where we were sitting at her kitchen table and she said to me.... you have the cutest dimple under your nose.
I had no clue what she was talking about. She said to me... GO.. go look in the mirror and see.
Indeed. There are days where I will just touch my nose and feel that dimple... remembering my friend who saw things inside and outside of me that no one ever did.

Thanks CG for allowing me to share Mrs Mays...

I love you Mrs Mays.

CG Walters said...

Thank you, Deb, for introducing Mrs. Mays to me. She sounds like a very remarkable lady.
And thank you for sharing your experience with her. I am glad for you both that you had that time together. It was undoubtedly a blessing for her as well...and will remain a blessing for you forever.
joy and wonder to you and all you hold dear,