This woman of substance was nearly impossible to highlight. For the life of her, she could NOT understand why I would want to include her in this series. After much debate and explanation, she finally relented and let me include her. And for that, I’m very grateful.
Judy is the quintessential “kind” person that folks often hear about. I met her over 25 years ago, and have watched her love, care for, and help out so many people- just because she wanted to. You see, this wife and mother was born to care for and care about those she loves. I’ve watched her crochet blankets for virtual strangers who happened to mention that they were cold or not feeling well. I would get so frustrated whenever we would walk into any restaurant or business, and have to stand there and listen to her strike up conversations with literally everyone around her. Judy walks through life loving everyone unless proven otherwise. Over the years, she has been part of a group that made baby blankets for preemies in the local hospital, and has made countless blankets for those that were in need of some comfort, kindness and/or warmth. Food has been brought over to homes and people who couldn’t cook for themselves, and she has even spent day and night caring for loved ones that were gravely ill and needed 24 hour care. There is little Judy would NOT do for someone she cares about. Go into any restaurant or business that she frequents and I guarantee that she will know the names of at least the employees, and sometimes the manager or owner. She has a genuine love for getting to know people and finding out more about them.
This love also reflects on the many pets she’s had over the years, adopting them from shelter and rescues so that she can care for them and love them every day of their lives. Even now, she’s got a little pooch at home that is living the life of Riley over there.
Judy has also cared for many children over the years, being the caregiver for them so that the parents can work. And when she does, she puts her heart and soul into her “job”, forever considering them a part of her family. What’s great to see is that even though these children are now adults, they all come back to see her and spend time with her. After all, the connection with Judy is forever.
Just recently I met her neighbors since we sit now outside to visit- social distancing due to Covid. And, just like the countless times before, she has nothing but love for all of her neighbors around her, and as a result, they love her in return and offer THEIR help to her whenever possible. Wherever Judy goes, love follows her- and it resonates off of her. As a result, she is loved in return, knowing that her kindness is genuine. Judy never asks for anything in return. Only a thank you is needed because, as Judy says, “That’s what friends/family do.”
One story comes from many years ago now, when a childhood friend became gravely ill. This friend had moved literally all the way across the country, and so had no family to come care for her. Judy hopped right on a plane and stayed with her dearest friend for almost two months, and never left her. Unfortunately, Judy’s friend passed, but didn’t leave this earth alone. She had her friend by her side. Themes of caring for loved ones has carried on throughout Judy’s life, and when asked, said that she wouldn’t change a thing if given the chance. I have never met a more open, kind-hearted and genuinely loving person like her in my life. My goal is to be more like Judy- more patient, caring, kind and compassionate to everyone around me. The goal will continue, thanks to Jude. THAT is what makes her a woman of substance- she is a woman of pure love.