Posted by: Jim E | October 24, 2011

School Lunch…Mom…Exemplary Kindness…And Sharing…

I read a story about a Grandmother…who did something extraordinary…it could have been about my Mom or my Grandmother…both so kind and loving (you can read about my Grandmother if you go to last December and read “Grandma’s Christmas Fruitcake”)…looking after others before themselves…neither woman had much in the way of “things” of this world…and none were asked for…I remember when Judie and I helped my parents take care of things (what often is referred to as “breaking up housekeeping”)…when they moved into assisted living…I remember the clothes my Mom had…they were all old…and not many of them…a couple of skirts and dresses…a few other things…but not much…she took care that grandkids and others had what a they needed and more…but for herself, not so much…and their furniture, as we went through it…it was the same stuff that they had when I was young, certainly not antique type…and most of the rest, was from others when they died and Mom received it from them…but her legacy was far different…

I remember so well, when I was young and in school…my Mom was a cook at our school…at the time the government gave schools lots of “government surplus”…and lunches were cheap…because of this surplus…that has almost all stopped now…it use to be used to help farmers by buying their produce and using it for schools and for foreign aid…they would send it to other countries to help them…I think that is still done today…but food was a cheap item…it really still is today…it is a small part of our yearly income, more than it used to be…but food is still cheap in America…for that we can be thankful…but in the 50’s, I remember when there was food left over in the school kitchen…they were told by the “powers that be”, to throw it out…Mom and the other cooks, all who grew up in the Depression, just couldn’t do that…they would give it to others who needed it…

There were families in our neighborhood that would not have eaten if Mom hadn’t delivered leftover lunch to those families (no food stamps in those days)…she, like her father, my Grandfather, did during the Depression…because they were working, gave to neighbors so they and their families had something to eat…the situations varied (of why they didn’t have money to buy food) but it didn’t matter to my Mom…she delivered it anyway…”Those kids need to eat.”, she would say…I think it’s safe to reveal this now…Mom’s in heaven…but the authorities certainly didn’t want this to happen…but she took her chances…she knew there were hungry kids, regardless of what their parents situation was like and took the food to them as they had leftover food…

And to her dying day, people still thought my Mom was a saint…because Mom gave to others and took care of others for as long as I can remember…and I mean far beyond the food thing, she gave from what she had (it was probably good Dad never knew)…giving was part of who she was…and kind to a fault…she shared right up to the end…and even when she no longer knew us…the reflex to give and not to take in return was still there…in that story I read, this quote: “Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference.”…it did for me…that was her legacy…



  1. Hi Jim,
    That’s a beautiful story. It sounds like you were very blessed to have her as your Mom. I’m sure she made you in to the kind and caring man you are today. And based on the way you talk about Judie, it sounds like she has a heart of gold like your Mom. Your children are blessed as well.
    Take care,

    • Julie…my Mom was wonderful…no doubt I was lucky to have her as a mom…and Judie, yup…she’s all I ever wanted, she is a blessing to not only our family but so many around the neighborhood and beyond…you know, sometimes we think what we do seems so small, but it multiplies out to so many that we don’t know…thanks for the comment…Jim E

      • I couldn’t agree more. Our Church’s motto is “Small things done with great love will change the world”. It’s even engraved on the side of our main building so it’s the first thing you see when you pull in the parking lot. It’s so true. Sometimes the small things have more of an impact on people than the big things.

      • Thanks Julie…it’s the “pebble in the pond” kind of thing isn’t it…we think when we do something, it is so small and is meaningless…but on the other hand we have seen things come back to us that we or others have done…that lets us know that one small thing made more of a difference than we ever thought possible…and the longer I live, the more I see life as a circle…if you live long enough and “stay by the stuff”, it comes back to you…because life is a circle…sometimes even a generation later it returns…and I have learned that even if “nothing” seems to come back…I still know, that “ripple” it still causing and effecting people that I will never know about…life has much more meaning if we live like that…thanks for the comment…your church has got the message…I see that…

  2. Ditto to what Julie said….. Lovely story

    • Thanks Saun…still visiting your site…love the pictures of your family as well as all the other shots …good stuff…Jim E

  3. Jim, you were so fortunate to have such selfless family members- and I’m sure they’re proud of how their family turned out. Caring and kindness are wonderful things to pass on 🙂

    • The world we live in today seems to lack some of these kind of things…but that is just the “headlines”…I find real goodness around all over the place…I try not to let the media influence my thoughts too much or we would all go to the “funny farm”…so I prefer to see what I refer to as “Wonder” all around us…I will write about that someday, my Mom had that…and I hold on to her view of the world and those around us…thanks W.S., you are part of my world that brings the wonder to my mind each time I read your blog…didn’t know you did that did you???…or if I really think about it…when you read the comments that come to you…you know it, don’t you???…it keeps you going, doesn’t it???…thanks for the comment…keep going, you make a difference, one person at a time…

      • Indeed it makes a difference, Jim- take care! 🙂

      • Thanks for the comment…JIm E

  4. “Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference.”

    So true!

    Lovely, thank you.

    You really were lucky to have her as a mum – and I bet she knew she was lucky to have you as a son.

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