A Gift Giver’s Goodbye

A Gift Giver’s Goodbye

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When, last autumn in Rhinebeck, New York, Lorraine Barbra Lindner exited this earth, little did she know what a stir she would cause locally in her beloved home of some 40 years.

Lorraine Barbra Lindner

She was 92. She was my mother, and all her life she served the poor.

She taught me that and she taught me how. She also instructed me about the niceties of giving gifts, her favorite activity. For this, she always kept a calendar, besmirched with the daily jottings of people for whom she cared — always sending them presents for their every occasion. She did this faithfully and methodically. In fact, never did a day pass that she did not give someone something.

And, guess what she left behind for me? Her only silver crucifix ring! Now I display it handsomely upon that left-hand pinky finger where she also used to wear it. In truth, it is my only connection to her, this little silver memento, and I shall always cherish it.

Moreover, I still mourn her and her cause, which was to give gifts to what seemed to be all the living world.

Despite her practice of generosity, she lived in a world of her own — always thinking about the little guy, while indulging her fantasy of Christian hope and charity to all. She did this one blessed person at a time, as I also want to say and do. For mom was a great neighbor to have; everyone who visited her home in Port Jefferson village was treated with utmost courtesy and welcome. 

But all of this is ended now that she has greeted eternity. Therefore, as her son, I now praise this 5 foot 2, blue-eyed Irishwoman and solemnly swear it has been a distinct privilege to have shared your friendship and expert care. 

For caring would be the best thing you would do. So, I reached out at your Infant Jesus funeral Mass of Christian burial, touching your casket with both my hands. Now I bid you a fond goodbye — even as you, gift giver, say so long to friends and family, knowing as we all do how very true it is that — just as you taught us all during your long life. And we shall all meet you again upon our own lives’ end. 

But for now, it will have to be goodbye, gift giver, my friend. See you in
heaven, Mom. 

George Lindner is a Port Jefferson Station resident.

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