How is it that some of the most generous people are those who have little material wealth? Simple generosity is a beautiful thing to experience.
My mom has never really had much of her own.
She came to the United States in 1956 on a military ship with a husband leading the way, and a baby in tow. Five more children would follow. For the first number of years, they moved a lot.
Then my dad left the Army but the restlessness never really stopped. He bounced from job to job trying as best as he could to make ends meet.
Sometimes he lost a job, and times grew leaner. We got welfare or food stamps. I remember paying at the grocery store with those stamps.
Dad died when I was just 12. Before he died we didn’t know how we were going to make it. We could have ended up homeless, but about a month before he died, Mom got approved for Social Security survivor’s benefits.
She went to work at the school cafeteria because she wanted to be home when we got done with school. And life seemed to get a little better.
But most of all, I remember in those lean times how my mom would take the little that we had and turn it into something. Often that meant making a special meal, a birthday cake or something she just whipped up.
Now that she’s older—92 years of age—her hearing is not so good. I can sneak up on her while she’s cooking at the stove. She hums and smiles—like an artist. And when she realizes I’m standing there she’ll tell me what she’s been working on.
For sure, she’ll offer me some of what she’s been making. It’s a good thing, and it reminds me that generosity begins in the heart, and it is so much more than money.
Photo by Sarah Shull on Unsplash
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Published April 23, 2021
Topics: Lessons with Bill