Monday, October 20, 2014

It Said . . . "Honey, ve gonna kill 'em vith kindness."

bigstock photo

Our neighbor, Emilie, had a full head of rich black hair and she laughed with a cackle. She was a funny combination of Snow White and the wicked witch. Long before I’d met her she used to be a woman of means (occasionally she’d model her fur coat for us or show us pictures of her Rolls Royce), but when we knew her she was just a regular hard-working U.S. citizen trying to pay her bills. Emilie lived on a few acres and had all kinds of animals on her place—most of them loose—rabbits, dogs, chickens, cats, ducks, geese, calves. Because of experiences growing up, she strongly believed in being self-reliant.

Emilie grew up in Germany in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s and lost “imperfect” family members during Hitler’s regime. Her mother foraged in the woods for her and her sister during the lean times; likewise, Emilie learned to be resourceful and make do. When we knew her she raised rabbits to eat, used leather boot straps as gate hinges and held everything else together with baling twine.

Emilie was headstrong and not everyone appreciated her. Sometimes when people were rude or unaccepting of her or others that she loved, she’d say to me, “It’s ok honey. I’m gonna kill ‘em vith kindness.” And she did. She took food, rabbits, candy, groceries, or offered her work-worn hands to help them. One time I was helping her with some people who were especially offensive. She again reminded me, “Honey, ve’ gonna kill ‘em vith kindness. They von’t even know vat hit them.”

I haven’t lived near Emilie for more than twenty years. But whenever I run into someone especially ratty or rude I think, “Honey, ve gonna kill em vith kindness.  They von't even know vat hit them."  I’m not as lethal with kindness as Emilie yet, but just remembering her slows down the venom I'd like to spit.  

(This post is part of a 31 Day Writing Challenge hosted by Myquillyn Smith To see other posts in the I Said . . . series, click here)


melanie said...

Vell, dis is a timely message for me. Danka.

Grandma & Grandpa said...

I LOVE your stories! Always something good to "chew on"! L&V