11.09.2013

Bee My Friend

Today I'm thinking about these honey bees.


And my friend, Mary, who's actually feeding them.
On plates.
With sponges.
Soaked in sugar water.



And this quote that my friend Terri posted on FB this morning.


So what do they all have in common?

Mary is one of the most generous, kind and compassionate people I know. (And I've met a lot of people in my 30-year stint in education!) Just look at her; she's feeding honey bees, for heaven's sake. I took those pictures on Tuesday morning after the best night's sleep in her granny's bed on my way to San Antonio. As we said good-night, I heard myself tell her that staying with her was "just like being back home."

She giggled, but it was, because back in the spring of 1991, I lived with Mary and her husband Wendy for six months when I was homeless. Okay, well not homeless in the sense that I couldn't afford a place of my own, but I'd moved back from Seattle and gotten engaged and didn't have a place of my own to stay between Christmas and June when John and I would marry. So Mary said I could stay with them. No strings attached. Just to help me out. Just because. So I slept in their beautifully-dressed antique guest bedroom, on her granny's bed, for six months as I planned the wedding and did some substitute teaching. I loved being adopted, and it was a glorious time. Her home cooking is to die for! And since the wedding-registry gifts that'd come by mail came to Mary's house, she hosted the gift opening the night of our wedding. Because that's who Mary is, and that's what Mary does. When our children were born, there wasn't much family close by, and Mary was one of the only people I'd leave them with, so we adopted her.
 She's been Aunt Mary to us ever since. 
As you can imagine, she was our best babysitter ever!
And friends, she did it all at no charge. All of it.

Mary retired eight years ago and they moved out into the country, two and half hours away. I miss her so much and never turn down the opportunity to stay with them if I'm en route somewhere west. I took her some tamales from Friendswood as a thank you for her hospitality Monday night and she fussed at me because I wouldn't let her reimburse me. Really? Then she sent me home with two jars of homemade jelly (peace and wild grape) and a jar of homemade salsa. 
There's that kindness boomerang we've been talking about.


English majors really want the question word to be whom, right?

So for yesterday's Kind Spring gratitude challenge, I paid it forward, in Mary's honor. I took Starbucks gift cards to Joshua's band directors, dedicated to Mary. Because the kindness, compassion, and empathy that you have shown me for over a quarter century continues to ripple out and positively make a difference, 
dear Mary. Thank you for being my friend.





6 comments:

  1. Mary sounds like another kind, generous sweet soul that I know...a-hem...Barbara! :) Friends like you are SUCH blessings!!!

    And...LOVE that she is nurturing those honey bees!!!

    Hugs - Lisa

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    1. Thank you, sweet Lisa. We like-minded people somehow seem to find one another, don't we? Smiling at you from the south!

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  2. Mary sounds like a friend we would all like to have in our lives. You are lucky to know her (and I suspect she feels the same way about you as well :))

    Stephanie
    Teaching in Room 6

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Stephanie - how is that precious bundle? Thank you for your kind words. I totally agree that we should all be blessed with an Aunt Mary!

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  3. This is a really lovely story. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank YOU, Rhythm, for stopping by to read it. Goodness abounds if we'll only keep our eyes, ears, and most importantly, hearts opened to it!

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