Laura had second sight and told me things. She once owned a Soul Kitchen. She successfully ran her business and had a devoted family.
This is the time of the year when memories bubble up. When I left the punk scene at the end of the 1980s, I was angry and looked for love in all the wrong places. I found real love through my experience as a Home Health Aide.
I learned compassion. I came to realize that I was a responsible person that needed to be loved in return. I had given so much. I felt used up.
The punk scene took and took and often there was no return of friendships or the compassion that I wanted. On the east coast I like what I found there.
When I came back to the west coast, I began to build healthy boundaries. Laura taught me life can be a very beautiful reality, a healthy place of work and family. A balance of art, life, and inspiration. Real caring.
Describing her portrait sitting on the hearth is a difficult memory after so many years. A picture taken of her from the 1940s. Laura had long dark hair and wore a black beret. A smile as sweet as she was all her life.
Laura was my first patient as a working Home Health Aide in the city of Rochester New York. She suffered a stroke. I was there to help her recover. Her soul kitchen smelled foreign to me as I must have looked to Laura’s family. Me in my white nurse outfit, white stockings, and soft leather shoes.
This contrast to Laura and her family caused silence to fill the rooms of her home; at first not a word spoken. Eyes dashed as family members shuttered around. Slowly, family members left. We all learned to relax. A new warmth and trust developed deeply shared by all.
As the weeks went on I arrived at Laura’s home. A comfortable place to be.
Laura taught me kindness does matter and diversity blends as sugar-water. Swallowing it down was wonderfully rewarding. How grateful I am for her memory.