A honey she was, and Honey was her name.

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Those who knew her knew they had a friend.

She never had just acquaintances, you see. 

Her helping hands were always out.

Her heart was always open, and

worn always on her sleeve.


     Honey left high school (and the beloved field hockey team she captained) at age 16 to be both Mother and Father to her three younger sisters and two troublesome brothers. Teacher, cook, housekeeper, breadwinner, nurse, and homemaker, she brought them up without fanfare or recognition, and usually without thanks.  

     When Honey married Harry and finally raised her own family—two sons five years apart with a third, a stillborn, in between—she never gave up mothering her orphaned siblings.

     When Harry ended up drinking half his mailman’s salary, Honey never complained; she simply accepted it as her due, and scraped together enough to barely pay the rent. She scrimped on groceries, stretched meals, and afforded clothes for everyone but herself.

     When Harry had beef for dinner, the boys got his leftovers; Honey had soup (usually tomato, sometimes ketchup stirred in hot water). When her sisters needed a roof over their heads, she took them into her tiny three-room apartment and made them thank Harry.

     When her sons were grown and her husband had passed, she continued looking after her brothers and sisters, and adopted all her neighbors too . . . cooking and cleaning and lugging groceries down the street and up the two or three flights of stairs, for those who were older, ill, or handicapped.

     How do I know Honey was such a honey? How do I know all this self-sacrifice to be true? Because, you see, Honey was my Mother! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! How proud I’ve always been of you. How much I wish you could be here to enjoy your loving sons and daughters-in-law, and all your grandchildren and great grandchildren too. But, then, perhaps you are . . .

2 comments so far

2 Comments to “A honey she was, and Honey was her name.”

  1. Kathy Alpiaron 12 May 2008 at 4:48 pm

    I knew Honey and she was indeed a very special person . . . We should all be as happy as she was.

  2. […] —-it takes all kinds, my Mother used to say (an Irish philosopher, of […]

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