When my children were in school and my mom was working, she gave me money each month for their hot lunch program. At the end of one school year, the kids’ cafeteria refunded six dollars, which had not been needed in May. I, in turn, gave the money back to Mom, but admitted I’d struggled over that six dollars, for it would have bought three gallons of milk.
The next time I saw Mom, she handed me an envelope containing six dollars and a note that said she was proud of me…And now she is gone from this lifetime.
No more milk money. No more homemade chili sauce or beef vegetable soup. No more conversations or advice. No more hugs or laughter. In the spirit of a generous heart, though, comes the following poem from Meditations Before Kaddish.
When I die, give what’s left of me away
to children and old men who wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother walking the street beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
and give them what you need to give me.
I want to leave you something,
something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved
and if you cannot give me away,
at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind.
You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
and by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn’t die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away.
Going on, with love to you,