Reading back through my blog and with all the health concerns of Kimball, I never really finished my challenge. Going back it seems so appropriate that I speak of this now. I wanted to give a tribute in these last few posts to all those that were close to me for the traits they gave me. I only wish Kimball could be alive to know just how profoundly she affected my life.
My love of beauty, both in myself and all that is around me; now the beauty in the rituals was perhaps started by our mother, but my love of my own beauty is what I attribute to Kimball and how it is never too late to change, to be a better person. She saw in me my beauty and talent, and continued to see those things and to prune my growing body/soul as I grew into adulthood.
I can remember wanting to be so much like her as I grew up. When she graduated college, I of course wanted to graduate from college (something I would not do until I was well into adulthood – age 39). Of course I thought I was too old, but she didn’t see it that way, “it’s never too late, Ann”, she would say. So, I continued on until that wonderful day when I was able to wear my cap and gown and walk with my classmates. Of course it was Kimball who hosted the party for all of my friends. But she helped me to see the beauty in me, Ann, to see all my accomplishments. And she helped me to see that I could stand on my own two feet, even when my husband was so absorbed in alcohol that he couldn’t see straight while I was so much in denial that I couldn’t see my way out and into my own independence.
She gave me a place when I had nowhere to go. She needed me, true; but I needed her more (or just as much I would suspect). As I nursed her wounds after her surgery, she helped me see the real me; she helped me see the beginning of the woman’s reflection in the mirror (Ann MacGregor) and the beauty of Me.
So, through the years, because of Kimball I’ve learned to be gracious, to be kind and welcoming and to listen, as well as accommodate my guests when they’re in my home. But more importantly I’ve learned that people matter, that I matter. I think that through this whole journey, the most important thing of all is that I matter most; for we can only give out that which we have to give, the faith and love for ourselves to live as we wish, without apology or remorse.
Kimball had that – she may have lost some faith in herself (just a little) – but she had enough faith for me and those around her. And that is what I loved about her and love about myself, I love that we have so much faith in others and in the world; the fact that it is never too late for a person to change.
I’m about to embark on a very scary and arduous task in which I must ask a person to undertake a journey to better themselves… an intervention of sorts. I know I can do it. But will they? I don’t know. I know that if they don’t they will die (most likely within the year). I love this person and would love nothing better than for them to take me up on this but I can’t do this for them.
Kimball believed we can always change for the better; it is never too late. I believe that. So, what do I love about myself? My impetuous optimism; I’m always hopeful (for others… that is for sure, if not for myself). I must believe that a person will get better and will do the right thing… That, my friend, is beauty. I may age, get wrinkles, age spots; but my optimism and faith that a person (that I) can always change for the better is beauty that will continue to radiate through… I have faith in that.
So when the Hills decay –
My Faith must take the Purple Wheel
To show the Sun the way –‘Tis first He steps upon the Vane –
And then — upon the Hill –
And then abroad the World He go
To do His Golden Will –And if His Yellow feet should miss –
The Bird would not arise –
The Flowers would slumber on their Stems –
No Bells have Paradise –How dare I, therefore, stint a faith
On which so vast depends –
Lest Firmament should fail for me –
The Rivet in the Bands