Thursday, September 1, 2011

Riches

Publisher's Clearing House didn't show up at my door. What was I worried about? That my worn out yard and front door would be on national television. But if I won the $5000 a week for life, I could clean my house!
Yesterday, I met a woman again who had a wonderful life. Yes, she and her husband worked hard building a business, yet they traveled much,too. She's 97, living alone, in a modest home that had an air of the clean 60's. Her breakfast nook where we sat cozily for my nursing visit was all paneled with a telephone nook. I thought, now you don't see that in new homes. The window opened to her 3 acres of countryside scenery on a perfect late summer day, sun playing with the leaves.
She had money, she had comfort, she had a son who did modest chores around her house. She missed her husband of 70 years. She missed people who visited them as a couple, but quit coming around now that he was gone three years. She ached for the great granddaughter in Australia the last 6 years, but she would see her soon. She had dusted pictures of family in her living room and albums upon albums since 1939.
She doesn't drive much, but will have lunch with the office girls at her doctor's. She is giving, insisted on giving me a cup of coffee and sandwich. Everything she had but the companionship of her life time friend. I glimpsed the two recliners side by side in her living room and imagined them holding hands in the evening.
She told me stories of her parents' grocery store in the 20's and 30's until she married where she could still speak Italian assisting the immigrants in the store. Her husband was German and many years later they took her father-in-law back to Germany where the police knocked on their door during dinner because they hadn't registered.
She spoke of hard work, and hard play. Picnics that somehow lasted till 3 in the morning. She talked, I listened. I thought how rich her life was, yet how lonely she was now. Kind to strangers and people are kind to her in return.
Money isn't everything we are told and it is true. The granddaughter in Australia, who's husband is a CEO for an oil company, still had to hide out a hurricane. Jesus said,"Where your heart is, so is your treasure." This lady's heart was with her husband and he in the grave. Healthy for a 97 year old, yet lonely. It's not health, earthly riches or even family, it's knowing Jesus.
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