In the ZOOM conversations I have with my sisters about 45 times yearly, I keep learning things about my parents.
Now, we realized early on that our mom knew stuff about finance. She was a bookkeeper in two Binghamton institutions, McLean’s Department Store and Columbia Gas and Electric. Later, she was a teller in Charlotte, NC.
I didn’t know until recently why she did not impart her wisdom to her children. She thought we were more intelligent than she was and that we would “figure it out.”
This sounds utterly Trudy. And it bugs me because we could have used her wisdom in this area. I know I had accumulated credit card debt for a time, which only got wiped out by my wife’s much better handle on finances, a topic that would make MEGO. It was also aided by winning money on a game show a quarter of a century ago.
But I’m also sad because it was her diminishing her gifts, her talents. She saw her husband as gifted in singing, painting, organizing, writing, schmoozing, etc. By comparison, she didn’t feel she had nearly as much to offer. And to suggest that her children know more than she did was incorrect.
Even though she went to church since before I was born, she never embraced the message of 1 Corinthians 12.
The Good Book
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines….
” Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many… God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it so that there should be no division in the body but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
My mom had many gifts, including understanding, compassion, and a fantastic mind for math, which meant the ability to stretch a dollar. I wish she knew how to share the latter. Some of my friends suggest her reluctance was just a generational thing, but I think it was more that she was squeezed emotionally by her husband and her mother. My mom died on 2 February 2011.