If you will allow me say so, my title today, Circling Back with Gratitude, displays some strong and long term observation skills, highly efficient memory along with a superior level of intellect. Before you leap to the false conclusion I am bragging about myself, let me hasten to disclose that my title was created during a conversation with my sister, Margaret Mary Morgan, who I refer to as Sister Margaret. Of course in retaliation, she calls me Brother Joseph.
We were both included as top academics in our respective high school graduating classes. My sister was in the Top Ten of her class; actually number two. I was in the Top 350 in my graduating class, actually number 350.
By now you should be asking, how did Sister Margaret come up with the title, Circling Back with Gratitude?
After our mother, Phyllis Boyle, who had a little over 93 years to collect stuff, died, Sister Margaret and I were deciding what we should do with our mother’s remaining worldly possessions. We each took a few things for ourselves and the grandchildren as bits of memorabilia, but we did not need nor take much.
That is when my sister reminded me that back in c1929, during the Great Depression, our mother and her family had very little food or money and neither of her parents had a job. On top of all those problems, Christmas was fast approaching. Our immigrant grandfather was a hard working self-taught award winning machinist with an 8th grade education, but he had no job.
St. Vincent de Paul founded in 1833, learned of the family’s plight and delivered to them a Christmas dinner along with a Christmas present for our mother. She was only about 7 years old at the time. This act of kindness meant a lot to our mother at age 7 and the indelible memory still meant a lot to her at age 93. She never forgot having the feeling of despair crushed by a feeling of joy.
I remember as a child the great thrill of visiting St. Vincent de Paul’s second hand store in Seattle. Mom always let us buy something. We were poor back in those days, but we did not know it. Many of my childhood treasures came from St. Vincent de Paul.
My sister suggested, let’s “circle back with gratitude” by donating all the remaining stuff in our mother’s condo to St. Vincent de Paul. Our local branch of St. Vincent de Paul has been located at 4009 – 56th St, Tacoma, Washington 98409 / T: 253-474-0519 since 1961.
We did just that and it feels good both from the perspective of our mother’s history and from the perspective of our childhood. St. Vincent de Paul’s mission statement displayed on the side of their truck reads, “Our work is helping the less fortunate”.
St. Vincent de Paul provided two hard working employees, Steve and Will, to load all our mothers personal possessions into their truck.
Our mother would approve of the St. Vincent de Paul truck backing up to her lifetime accumulation of personal treasurers. Even though she is now gone, our mother is still able to “circle back with gratitude”.