Official Barbara Kois Website
Fascinating People Who Are “The Least of These”

least of these

Welcome to my blog. I have been writing many things for quite a long time and know that blogging is the “in” thing now. So I’m going to blog.

 

What I’d like to talk about is . . . well, lots of things. I’m a mother, a writer, a sister, a neighbor, a woman, a friend, and life is full of interesting happenings and fascinating people, isn’t it?

 

One of the most interesting people I’ve ever met is my friend Linda. Right now, she lives in a retirement home in another state and has no money. Literally – her Social Security check goes for rent on the place and she has something like $80 a month to spend. The place even has bugs that they try to tell her are “lint” and some anonymous person harasses her by banging on her apartment door at 4:30 a.m. many mornings.

 

So I grieve for her situation. Let me tell you about her amazing life.

 

Linda earned her living cleaning houses. Until she reached the age for Medicare, she had no medical insurance. She had no paid sick days or holidays, no pension plan or IRA. Linda’s mother died in childbirth and, as soon as Linda was old enough to understand the words, her father told her that she had killed her mother by being a “bad baby.” Not surprisingly after a start in life like that, Linda has struggled with depression for many years.

 

I first knew Linda when she cleaned my house, back in the days of my material prosperity. We became friends, and she worked for me for ten years. Over the years, we talked and prayed together, sharing victories and heartbreaks. Both of us are mothers, and we prayed together for our children.

 

Financial reversals ended my luxury of Linda’s household help, and ended my years of owning the house as well. But our friendship remained strong, and we talked on the phone and visited each other occasionally. During one particularly discouraging week for me, Linda called me.

 

“You sound down, Barb.  Has something happened?”

 

“I didn’t get the job I applied for, and I’m getting panicky about finances,” I said.

 

“What a disappointment about the job.  Let’s meet for breakfast on Saturday.  My treat,” she said.

 

I was glad to see her Saturday morning, but I felt guilty that she had offered to pay for my breakfast.  If I had handled things better when I had money, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Linda has so little, and yet she wants to take me out to breakfast, I thought.

 

After we finished our meal, Linda pulled out an envelope with my name on it and handed it to me.

 

“I really want you to have this, Barb,” she said.

 

“Oh, Linda, I couldn’t take that from you.  I just couldn’t.”

 

Her smile faded instantly, and she looked away from me, obviously hurt.

 

“You helped me years ago, Barb, and now I want to help you a little bit.”

 

I knew immediately that the right thing to do was to put aside my pride and guilt and accept her gift.

 

“Thank you, Linda.  I appreciate your help.”

 

After Linda paid our bill, we hugged each other and parted. I was touched by her kindness. When I got home, I opened Linda’s envelope, expecting to find a $5 or $10 bill. Instead, she had given me $128 in cash.

 

Surprised and overwhelmed, I realized that she had given me a full two days’ pay from her housecleaning work. Just like the widow’s two mites, I thought (from Mark 12:42 NASB). She has given out of her poverty, not out of her surplus. She gave me what she had to live on.

 

Another lesson learned by example.
Check back to learn more about Linda and other amazing people I know.