every family should have one…

December 23, 2010

family life

a Jeannie

our Jeannie came into our lives ten years ago

she was my boss at the time

she was there to visit and give a helping hand or measured, timely advice with each of the babies

a model of quiet acceptance, kindness, humility, honesty, integrity, forgiveness, and compassion

a listener

giving much more than she receives

Jeannie’s strength is grounded in her Catholic faith

but when i think of Jeannie, the image is of Avalokitesvara, the thousand-armed bodhisattva, each hand holding a different gift for humanity

she has always had time for others despite having to raise four children on her own and work full-time

she has stayed in touch through changes of jobs, and there has always been a visit at Christmas with a gift of new clothes for each of the boys… the boys love wearing Jeannie’s new clothes on Christmas Day, it has become a tradition

Jeannie is like a village elder

however in a global village, Jeannie’s warm embrace is expansive

multitudes of individuals and families that she stays connected with, as little or as much as they need

there is emotional safety with Jeannie

but that’s not to say she is a push-over, she can be one tough old bird when crossed, but you always know she’s got your back

now a proud and devoted grandmother of one, I wondered whether we would see Jeannie this Christmas, we haven’t seen her at all this year

the phone rang yesterday afternoon, “I’m in the area, thought I’d drop in for a visit” in that familiar cheerful tone, there is a smile in her voice

Jeannie never forgets


About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

View all posts by hakea


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2 Comments on “every family should have one…”

  1. kloppenmum Says:

    I’d love to be like that. Happy Holidays.


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