Queen of Sympathy

My love for the broken-hearted began years ago, when I fell in sympathy with my dear mother.  Sympathy for me is a state of spiritual grace in which the person with whom I sympathize can do no wrong, or any wrong they do is either delightfully odd or totally understandable.  As you might imagine, this isn’t always a great recipe for relationships and sometimes sets me up for huge disappointment.  I tend to put these SWPs (Sympathy Worthy Peeps) up on a pedestal and ignore any "mean person coming" warning signs.

Broken-hearted people are the highest order of SWPs due to their possession of small sweet broken parts that might benefit from any of my kindness, wisdom, listening attention, or humor.  When I sympathize, I access for a split second the non-kick-ass-tough-chic part of myself.  In a word, I access my inner Mother.  If I love someone and find them sympathetic, I can be so generous and forgiving and patient, I feel like I’ve been taken over by another being.

But then I revert back to my critical, rigid, judgmental self and realize it’s still me… just softer. 
Thankfully, my kids usually have 100% access to this wiser gentler CrankMama, as does my husband and many of my dear and beloved women friends.

If I could love everyone as I love these few, I’d DEFINITELY get into the Celestial Kingdom*.  Since I don’t, I’m sure I’ll wind up somewhere much much warmer, with an evil cackling ruler, a terrible haircut, and bad shoes.

But this sympathy truly flowered when I realized that my Mother, for all her faults, had a heart of total gold and no evil intentions whatsoever. 

She saved my life when I had my twins.  When they were newborns and I had to return to work, she’d drive 90 minutes one-way to watch the babies and then drive home again through traffic totally exhausted by twincare.  Then, when I moved closer to her and split from the twin’s Dad, she’d come to my house every morning at 4:45am and watch my daughters so I could commute to my job an hour away.  She never complained –only quietly and lovingly cared for my daughters.  Her kindness is perhaps the best gift I’ve ever been given.

Her ability to love unconditionally and overcome her own trials and tribulations is probably the most powerful contributor to the small kindnesses I can spare amid my busy tired and selfish days.

And if I can teach my daughters to grow this love even greater for the next generation, I will be able to leave a lasting legacy of caring and kindness in her name.  The Queen of Sympathy.


5 Responses to “Queen of Sympathy”

  1. September 27, 2006 at 11:41 pm

    That is so sweet and devoted of your mom.

    Ummm…I am really not sure I want into the celestial kindom. I have a feeling I would be bored as hell.


  2. September 28, 2006 at 6:58 am

    This is a really lovely entry. I enjoy all your generous odes to loved ones (especially since I was one of the lucky recipients!) I need more of the “sympathy” gene myself, as I think I sometimes err on the kickass “take responsibility for your actions side.”

    I’m definitely not getting into the Celestial Kingdom!

  3. September 28, 2006 at 11:59 pm

    Very nicely written!

    (You need to work for Hallmark)

  4. September 29, 2006 at 2:07 am

    what a beautiful, loving post. your mother is sure a wonderful person.

  5. 5 Sereta Williams
    December 17, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    This posting is worth all the late nights and early mornings. To have a daughter as wonderful as this makes a mother answer a resounding “YES” to Robert Frost’s poem:

    “Look me in the stars all you men(women) of earth and tell me if all the soul and body scars are worth the pain of birth.”

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