One of our family jokes has always been about our servant-mother. Whenever we were together, Mom was always serving others. Cathy and I joked about it when we were both newly-weds. We’d come to visit and Mom would set an unreachable standard for serving. And always, always, she would ask, “Nancy, does your husband need anything?” To which I selflessly replied, “He knows where the refrigerator is and last time I checked his legs were not broken so I’m thinking he’s good.” It turned into a family joke with Glenn asking me, “Nancy, does your husband need anything?” and Mom laughing with her eyes-closed smile.
She was like that with all the men in our family. And really with us girls most of the time too. Tonight after dinner Glenn took a strawberry bar out of the freezer and Mom said to me, “Will you tell him not to have that?”; it was a sure sign that she is more and more lost to us. When she was herself she would NEVER have denied Glenn anything, even if it meant having to re-purchase the key ingredient for the dinner party she was preparing right then. She would have let him have it and gone to the store. Again. Because she was our servant-mother.
I’m looking for a lesson in this, as I often do. I guess this one is just another reminder to be like her–to serve my beloved family in every way I know how. To care for them and provide and give and share. To live generously.