Sharing – A Defining Trait
“I miss her!” I was talking about my sister once again.
My mother said, “I know. I do too. She always shared her life with others.”
I thought about Mom’s words and realized that it was a defining trait of my sister, Carolyn.
She shared her life with her colleagues, her friends, and best of all, her family. I recalled the many times she showed up unannounced at our door. She might have a special tea in hand and chat for an hour. Or drop off an “extra” vegan meal she’d made for us to try. (she always prepared more than she needed, certain we’d like to sample her healthy meals). She might bring a garage sale item for one of us, a “find.” Often, she had a child in tow, parked the stroller and sat on the steps. It was an attempt to nudge us out into the sunshine. She’d get me away from the computer and my mother out of her kitchen. Sometimes, she had her walking shoes on and invited my brother to the track for some exercise. It was difficult to say no to her.
My sister’s infectious smile was, itself, sunshine.
She loved getting out and about and interacting with others. She enjoyed swimming, picnics, and our small town parades, followed by cookouts–of course, with bean burgers and barbecue sauce! We celebrated all our birthdays at her house-with a special prayer and meal in our honor and nicely-wrapped gifts to open afterward. After she turned vegan, she made strange substitutes for cake, desserts we politely sampled made from carob or honey and topped with fruit. She introduced us to banana ice cream–that is, frozen bananas put through her juicer. She convinced us it really was ice cream! In summer, we never left her house without a bag of fresh veggies or a container of the red raspberries plucked from bushes that bloomed all summer long.
Like the bushes, life with my sister was sweet and fruitful.
As she grew more ill, she quietly gave up her afternoons in the sunshine and became bed-bound. Still, she shared her life. It all took place in her house. Yes, we went to her and gathered together to celebrate her waking moments.The atmosphere was warm and inviting. Laughter erupted at various times from around the room as her granddaughters played.
“Ga-ga, Look at me!” That was Lilly, dressed in princess finery, a big purse slung over one shoulder. She clunked over to her bed wearing heels much larger than her feet.
The house was filled with caring as the elder daughter seated herself next to my sister and helped her eat, sharing a humorous story from work that day. The younger daughter would enter the room, lean over and ask her mother if she needed anything. My brother and I, and sometimes, my mother, kept her up-to-date on our activities as well. Though you were inside a house of suffering, you never felt that because of the sharing that went on.
Increasingly, my sister shared her faith, most of the time without words–simply by her actions.
It was in her smile, the music she listened to, the uncomplaining way she accepted the changes she faced, the number of visits she had, cards she received with reminders of God’s love and even the many who came to say goodbye.
Yes, she shared herself through it all.
I didn’t know that in sharing herself, she was carving out such a defining trait in herself. But seeing how lovingly she did it makes me want to serve others by including them in my life. This is definitely an area for me to work on.
How often do you share yourself? Is there someone you can you share yourself with more? Who can you include in your circle that you don’t already?
By the way, I started to print my posts in a larger font so that I could catch some of the typos my vision doesn’t see when the print is smaller. One lady said her screen reader caught some I missed. Yikes! What do you think of this size font?
You have read “Sharing-a Defining Trait,” by Amy L. Bovaird. © Copyright March 11, 2015. I love to read your comments, have you like and share it. Thanks!