Monday, July 30, 2007

Ms. Whit, our 102 year old friend

Ms. Whit and my father.

I have never met anyone more uncomplaining, resilient or good natured than Cornelia Whitten. My family met her when I was nine years old and my brother was six. The first thing he said to her was, "I think I shall call you Ms. Whit." She laughed and their bond was sealed. Over the years, she saw a side of Kenneth that the rest of us seldom saw and she appreciated him unconditionally. We visited her tonight - Nicolas, the kids, my father and I, to watch a Braves game with her (she never misses a game, even the ones on the west coast that go until 1am). She talked a lot about Kenneth. "Oh, that boy! He was just so special. So smart! I couldn't beat him at any game!" Tonight, when she kept repeating this (in one way or another) in the middle of conversations about the Braves or pizza or the dog, we all laughed.

But she's right. My brother was always really smart, funny and special but as a kid, I often couldn't get past our sibling issues (we had lots) to see it. As adults I have been so proud to call him my brother and been stunned by how much he has accomplished, on his own, just with his smarts. I am thinking of him a lot lately - both he and his wife, Naomi, in Australia, so positively hanging in there as they hope for at least five more weeks of hospital bed-rest before their baby arrives.

Ms. Whit is awfully special herself. I think that her patience and her ease with unconditional love may be her secret to such a long life. It isn't about her food habits. She has a cup of coffee every morning, often accompanied by a donut.

3 comments:

Bhu said...

Wow. Miss Whit is looking spectacular! And so are your photographs. I miss you Maddie. I love reading your blog. Hey google 'the polaroid kidd' and go to the first website that comes up (dirty something or something) and you will see some beautiful photos.

Madeline said...

"dirty something or something" LOL! Bhu, you are working too hard. I miss you too.

Stephanie said...

I find Ms. Whit to be a fine reminder to Live Your Best Life, whatever that may be.
Much love and bounce to her.
And to you for honoring her.
xo
Stephanie in SLC