Being Kind, Relative-ly Speaking

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, September 21, 2014

girl, roses, heart in the sand

Being Kind, Relative-ly Speaking

I have a number of relatives. Including siblings. I was born into a family of six brothers and sisters here in Chicago. Now, of course, the family has scattered for a number of reasons (mostly work-related) to the far corners of the country.

One of my sisters has repeatedly been coming to my mind. One problem: even when that happens, I just do not pick up the telephone to call. At least, I usually don’t even think of calling Sue, except very early in the morning or much too late at night. You know, the times a decent person wouldn’t even think of calling unless there were a life or death emergency. Somehow, I kinda, sorta figured my sister repeatedly coming to mind is not—to my mind—a life or death emergency. In addition, I was quite busy for the last few days, on top of everything else.

I did remember to call her at a reasonable time, this evening. She wasn’t home, but I left her a cheery message. I do hope she spent an enjoyable, relaxing weekend.

I did remember something else, too. Some good advice my sister gave me, when I had just started working for St. Luke’s Church in March. Yes, it’s been just about six months, and I have been looking back over the past months, plus my track record while at the church. I‘ve only just started reflecting and assessing, and I have a ways to go. However, I am quite pleased at what I’ve turned up so far. So, yes. I’m looking backwards, to see what I did. And what advice was given to me. But wait, there’s more. Much more!

Now, I’d like to consider where I’d like to go, and what I want to do. The help and assistance with prayer is so kind! I thank everyone for their kindness and caring towards me.

From one of our earlier conversations, my sister Sue gave me an excellent advice that I will try very hard to continue to implement. With the start of the fall season already here, I know Sue’s words will be gracious and helpful! I know my sister will call back, and I have a lot to tell her.

So, I’m grateful to my sister for her kindness to me and assistance she gave to me in March. And I hope she appreciates the cheery message I left on her voice mail today. I hope so. I pray so!

@chaplaineliza

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In Which I was Kind at a Family Reunion

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, May 27, 2014

family reunion drawing

In Which I was Kind at a Family Reunion

I love my family! I love seeing them, which does not happen very often. Many of my family members are scattered to the four winds. However, all six of us siblings and all four of my children were in town for a family reunion today. Plus cousins, and other friends. Wonderful day of conversation, memories, hugs, and food!

So many things to think about from today. So many memories. Talking with my sisters and brothers. Talking with other family members there at the reunion. Looking at the pictures, drawings, and other family papers my sister had collected upstairs at her home. (And of course, just visiting my sister’s huge Victorian almost-mansion is always a treat! Just about all of the rooms are restored to the 1890’s, so she could legitimately have electricity in the vintage lighting fixtures. Other than the refrigerator in the kitchen, even the solid-as-a-brick-house gas stove is from 1900.)

The dining room table fairly groaned with the amount of food that was packed onto it! My sister was generous with her home, her hospitality and the food everyone had an opportunity to share.

I was kind in several ways today, but the most significant I remember occurred later this afternoon. While some family members were poring over the collected papers in the front and middle parlors (connected by large, segmented twelve-foot high doors—the parlors had fourteen-foot high ceilings) at my sister’s house, I played the piano. I was playing some of the music my father used to play. Old standards. Jazz arrangements of said standards.)

I’ve done this before. Done this in a number of situations. Praise God, I’m able to offer my abilities to others. God helps me be aware and awake now, as God has many times in the past. Thanks for the encouragement and assistance, God! I hope and pray the same joy for you and your congregation, as I thank God for these things. People. Family. Wonderful.

@chaplaineliza

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