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Edith Bunker

July 14, 2010

When I was growing up we watched All in the Family…faithfully. My dad was a very strong-willed man so he reminded us a bit of Archie, but it was my mother who got teased all the time of being Edith. Many years later I wrote the following about my mom and just found it in a pile of stuff the other day.

What’s to envy about Edith Bunker? She’s a giver and God knows there are few of them left in the world . Edith is at the end of every line, whether it be at the bank, the check out or the clinic. She would drive Archie to the hospital for a paper cut yet she would refuse anesthetic for the her one surgery if it cost extra. She would hang a picture over her living room sofa that the milkman’ wife painted by number.

She would lend you her new Christmas sweater and wouldn’t complain if you sweated in it. She is one of the last of the vanishing breed of listeners. Do you remember them?  They are people who sit quietly and look at you in the face when you talk and when you’re finished, there is a silence. They haven’t been thinking of a story they could tell .

Actually, Edith is not too complex. What you see is what she is. Edith has never learned about the plastic veneer or sophistication that people cover themselves with.

I have a theory, if anything is ever to be resolved with mankind it won’t be the Archie Bunkers with the wall to wall month who will do it. And it probably won’t be the meatheads of the the world. It will be the Edith Bunkers. Their unselfishness, their regard for human feelings, their patience, their caring and their love of everyone will bring it about. That’s why we are lucky to have a Edith Bunker in our family and why we love you so much.

I wrote that to my mom almost thirty years ago. I think it was the first time I had ever stopped and looked at just who my mother was. I’m glad I did because I think it changed my whole attitude about her and therefore helped us to become really close.

If you haven’t taken time to reflect on what is good about people in your life then maybe you might want to do that before it’s too late.

One Comment leave one →
  1. joanne Dickerson permalink
    July 15, 2010 6:23 pm

    This is truly beautiful. Thank you for writing what I should have, but couldn’t have half so well.

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