Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Thoughtful Without Thought

Today I received an email from the mother of the lady who shared a hospital room with my Gramma during her final days. Knowing the nature of the email was actually in relation to the loss of my mother rather than my Gramma, I put off reading it in full. But, since I hadn't yet done anything that scared me today, I decided that would be it. And so, I read it.

There wasn't much to it really - more so an apology for not knowing sooner. But, the words enclosed reminded me once again just how incredible my Mom truly was. It's crazy to think how quickly two years is approaching, and how I still frequently receive notes and comments from people telling me how my Mom changed their lives. Perhaps the most incredible part of my mother's kindness was just how easily it came to her. I don't think she ever thought twice about what she was doing, she just sort of...did it. Whether it was baking bread or sweets for neighbours and friends who needed a pick-me-up, or sharing a joke or smile, she just had this way about her that made it look so easy to make the world a better place.

While recently in Amsterdam, I thought about her a lot. I thought about how much she would have loved that city. I imagined her walking alongside me while I strolled throughout Vondelpark. The frequent waft of a particular scent reminded me of that story she always used to tell my friends when they'd come over, about the time she was nervous for her university interview. And while I, perhaps, shouldn't be sharing that story, it was always one of my favourites (aside from the one that involved her being shipped off to boarding school...) - especially when she used the bamboo shoots she'd been given as a gift for props. Man, she used to laugh while retelling that story. She used to laugh in general.

But, the one thing that amazes me, is the reoccurring theme that usually tags along with all of these reflections from others. In so many instances the people sharing their stories with me about how my Mom had done something for them would recount how little they knew her. In some cases, Mom would do her thing after only meeting them a time or two, and in some cases, even just hearing their story would bring her to act. So thoughtful, without thought. And it also amazes me just how much everyone knew how much she loved us (my brother and I) - not that I ever doubted it - but it's strange to hear that reiterated from people you've never even met. Sometimes I get absorbed with how unfair it is that she was taken so soon. But, then I think, how could she possibly have loved me any more than she did.

-the Orange Canadian

To learn more about my Mom, and the many acts of kindness she has inspired, check out The Judy C Kennedy Project or 'Like' it on Facebook.


  1. Emily, after reading your paragraph about how Judy use to laugh while retelling a story - well I could actually hear her laugh. I am sitting here at my computer and I can hear Judy laughing. She really gave it all she had and it came right from her toes. She would light right up. How I wish I could see her just one more time. I read the emails she sent me a few days before and the morning of her accident. They are so special to me - for a selfish reason I guess - cause I feel special that she thought of me that last day.

    Anyway, Emily, I haven't been keeping up with all your blogs, but I must say you have a gift for putting things into words. Judy would be/is so proud of you and your big brother. She loved you two so much.

    So I will just sit here for awhile and listen to Judy laughing.

    Anne Lee

    1. Enjoy those memories, Anne Lee, and the sound of her cackle! Boy, I miss hearing that laugh!