Friday, March 28, 2008

Life Lesson #2 Just Mean It


When I was really young we had a little family that lived next to us. Dominique was a doctor at local medical center. His wife Ara was a stay at home Mom with beautiful long, dark hair, a friendly accent and warm smile. They had a daughter Michelle who was slightly younger than me and the nicest kind of child/friend/neighbor. She had big brown eyes and short brown hair cut in a bowl cut. She was shy and quiet but I always looked forward to playing with her.

I can remember standing in the side yard meeting them. My Mom told Ara that I was looking forward to playing with Michelle and though I was embarrassed, she was right. I really was looking forward to making a new friend. I believe I was 4 at the time and have some specific memories about my time spent with Ara and Michelle.

The first being that I remember Ara saying that I was welcome anytime. What was most remarkable about that was that she really, really meant it and even as a young child I knew this and more importantly I felt this.

As a little girl I was painfully shy. Looking back I can tell you that I had a fairly strong intuition about people...not all people, just some people. Ara was the kind of person/Mom/neighbor that carried her heart in her hands and loved people.

I remember her compassion when my Smurfette balloon drifted accidentally into the sky. I felt better because of her and it isn't her words that I remember but how she made me feel. I remember her taking me to the Thomas Beaver Library to borrow my first book on her card. What she said to me, I do not know but my desire to love and care for that book until it was time to take it back was real.

I remember her patience as she popped popcorn on the stove in a tin foil pie tin as I flooded her with all kinds of questions. I remember how much better the Whitney's yogurt tasted at their house simply of because how I felt being in their home.

I remember the trust she instilled in me when she let me carefully hold one of their new kittens. I remember her excitement when her son Dominique's umbilical cord fell off. I remember sharing a brand new pair of big girl panties with me when she bought them for Michelle. I remember her willingness to invite me to eat dinner with them and her concern that I let me Mom know where I was.

She put her heart into the things she said and did and that is what I felt. It isn't her words that ruminate inside of my head but that way that I felt around her that stand as a remembrance. So whatever it is in life that you do, do it with your heart because it really will make all of the difference. I have no doubt that her sweet little Michelle is now much like I remember her Mother in the days of past.

Again, of all of these things I most remember her sincerity and how it made me feel. By no means do I mean to minimize any of the things that I learned or felt at home. My point is that I did not expect these things in the home of another and this was my first remembrance of being accepted outside of my home. Under the best of circumstances and even the worst I had an amazing childhood and just want to appreciate all the good that existed.

This is yet another outstanding example of a Christlike virtue. The condition of our heart tels a tale each and every day and so to each of us I would ask, what is the condition of YOUR heart?

On the B Side: I am grateful for Ara and her family. Again, it was the small and simple means, the actions that made a difference and left an impression on my young heart. Michelle was my first little friend that I remember and she always shared her life with me which opened my eyes and my heart to yet another dimension of this life.

3 shout outs:

Clancy in Idaho said...

Thank you for these posts. This creates a longing in me to be that person. The Ara in someones life. I feel so completely self absorbed... I pray for the courage to change.

Britta said...

Oh Clancy Pants! There isn't a thing about you that you need to change. The tell that the condition of your heart tells is always beautiful and inspiring. I do so love you and appreciate your kind words!

Britta said...

*the TALE your heart tells