Thursday, April 13, 2006
The Secret Life of Bees
I just finished reading "The Secret life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd, it was totally enjoyable. I really liked the relationships that bound the women in this book. I think this book would make a great movie with Oprah playing the August Boatwright character. She is strong, noble and courageous as well as a fine beekeeper.
I was given this book to read by one of my customers, Agnes, who used to come into my shop everyday on her way home from her office. She was a family counselor working in the village. She loved my shop and used to buy bath effervescent balls every few days. I figured she was taking a lot of baths to relax at the end of her workday.
One day Agnes came in and we got to talking more than usual, it turns out she had cancer and was given only a few more months to live. I was very blown away by this. I lost my mother when I was 15 - it is not easy. Over the months our friendship grew, we talked about lots of different things from books we liked to trying to decide if she wanted to go through chemotherapy. We talked about her daughter a lot and how complete she felt with her and her whole life.
After a few months I did not see her about in the little village where my shop was. I sent cards every week to cheer her up. Then the call came - from her husband that she had passed. A few months later I saw her husband, he is such a sweet man, also a counselor, but with the church. He was going into the pub next to my shop. He smiled a great big smile and we talked about Agnes. He said, "Oh she loved you and that shop of yours, I don't know what those pretty smelling ball things are but she sure worked up a collection of them". Hmmm, I thought Agnes was popping those balls into the tub every night to relax and here she was just using them as an excuse for us to get to know each other.
So, now that I have converted the shop to an on-line shop I have much more time to read and I finally read this book that Agnes gave me many months ago. A strong theme running in the book is the idea that we can have so many mother figures in our lives. At that time in my life, in that little shop, Agnes was a mother figure for me. She taught me so much about the comings and goings in our lives, what types of things are really important, the completeness of our relationships and about reaching out to people you do not even know. It is funny but it was all put so very neatly in the book as well. I am so grateful to have known Agnes. I am so grateful to have read this book and to know there are little angels that will show up from time to time and step in as my mother figures. Life is truly amazing...