Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Monday, September 19, 2011

FINALLY!!  After having read the book several months ago, I had the opportunity to see The Help with a friend yesterday!  Loved it!  It was bittersweet.  Both joyful and heartbreaking.  I really loved seeing Cicily Tyson in the movie too! The movie evoked a multitude of emotions from days gone by.  A time when I was barely nine years old.  An elementary school student.  A few years before we became latchkey kids.  My family was not a prejudice one.  In fact, our attitudes were probably more along the lines of Celia Foote and her husband (from the movie!) ... grateful, appreciative and eager to hear about the goings on of each others' day to day lives.

After returning to Mobile from living in Andalusia, both of my parents were faced with working outside the home full time with four young daughters either in grade school or diapers.  Our Mattie worked for my parents for several years.  I'm not certain how long she was an important aspect of our daily lives.  She was there with the younger girls while me and my older sister attended school.  Eventually we were all attending school during the day and returning home in the mid afternoon to find Mattie waiting at the door.  I remember a couple of summers with Mattie, before I started summer-long visits with my grandparents in Florida. A few times during summer break, Mattie's grandaughter (who was around our ages) would come for the day!  What fun we had playing games all day!  Among the fun, we had one quiet play hour during the day.....when Mattie's "story" was on!  I remember Mattie keeping us entertained, fed and encouraged!

I know Mattie cared for us as much as Abilene cared for May Mobley in the movie.  My younger sister, Tammy, proved to be quite a handful. She began locking herself in bathrooms and hiding outside.  Poor Mattie was a basket case worrying about Tammy's safety.  If I recall correctly, the final straw was when Tammy had hidden outside and snuck back in while Mattie was out there looking for her.  She locked Mattie out of the house that day.  My mom was furious!  Not with Mattie though!  Mattie was so shaken by the possibility of Tammy being harmed or hurt during some of her antics!   To the best of my recollection that's how Mattie came to leave our family and move on.  : (   

Back to the movie now!  It amazed me how much little Mae Mobley reminded me of my granbaby girl!  I was already missing her and the weekend hadn't even began.  Abilene told that sweet child often "You is Kind. You is smart. You is important."   What better way to encourage a child ... of any age?!

Wrapped up in the emotions of the movie, there was an ugliness about it.  The racial bias.  The racial slurs.  The distrust.  That's stuff that turns my stomach.  The haughtiness, think-your-too-good attitude nauseates me.  I'm not talking necessarily attitudes across colors either.  Some folks are just that way, regardless of race, status or address.  It saddens me that some people can't see the pain they cause and justify their reasons with the "it's the way I was brought up" statement.  How safe that must feel to them.  I can think of a few people deserving more than two slices of Minnie's terrible awful chocolate pie ... for such attitudes.  Thank God for grace. Bless their heart(s).  I know.  I know.  I said it.  Fortunately, I'm not a passive-aggressive individual.  

The part of the movie that really moved me to tears was near the end when Skeeter's mom faced down Hilly on the front porch and then told Skeet how proud she was of her.  Hug your kids today!  Hug someone and let them know how proud you are of them!!!  Quite often the words of encouragement or affirmations you need to hear from a particular someone is exactly what they need to hear from you, whether it's your mom, your child, your spouse, your friend, your boss or your neighbor.

You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Ghandi

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