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  • Kitty Edwards

Giving It All Away

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

– Lao Tzu

Every year in early October I retreat from my normal activities for 3 days. I do this to honor my mother who was born on October 4 and died on October 6. During my retreat I disconnect from the outside world. I make curry pumpkin soup from scratch. Chopping, simmering, straining, tasting shapes the rhythm of my day. In the early years my retreat time was spent grieving.

Now, seventeen years later, I feel my mother’s love nurture me as I nurture myself.

In the last months of her life Ann Dudley Edwards gave away her precious belongings. As a southern lady she took pride in her appearance. She had a large collection of decorative pins, necklaces and earrings.Toward the end I helped her sort through and select the perfect jewelry for each friend and family member.

As friends stopped by to say their goodbyes she reached into the basket beside her bed and pulled out a small wrapped bundle with the friend’s name handwritten on it. “This is for you my dear” she would say with her light southern accent.

The love that was shared in these last gifts was precious.

Mother gave me specific instructions to host a gathering 6 months after her death. I was to invite 40 women who she knew from different segments of her life – work, political action, church, singing, and family. While she knew them all, many of them did not know each other.

Mother was known for her many matching hats, scarves and gloves. When the women arrived they were confronted with an array of Ann’s accessories pinned to the curtains, draped on furniture and hanging from the fireplace. While they told stories, laughed and cried together, they also tried on clothes finding just the right combination that fit their tone and character.

Even after death, Mother’s love for her friends and family was palpable.

This month’s workbook focuses on the creation of your Last Will and Testament to distribute your property after your death. The section of “Special Bequests” is your opportunity to get personal.

Are there special things you would like to gift to the special people in your life

Join me to give it all away,

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