Minestrone for the Heart
Minestrone is an Italian soup filled with a variety of vegetables and ditalini noodles. Some like to add meat as well to this delicious soup. You can order it in any Italian restaurant or make it at home. It is great served with crusty bread and a glass of your favorite wine. Delizioso!
This is where the minestrone ends and the real story begins. My question to you dear reader; did you ever meet a family who invited you into their home and made you feel like you belonged? This is a story about Kathy and Rick, their golden retriever, Boo, Daisy the cat, their family and small house filled with love in every nook and cranny.
The setting; three cars driving in the rain toward our destination. First car, Pat, and Jane lead the way, then my sister Donna and her husband Albert, followed by my husband and me.
I am always amazed by the amount of traffic and the busyness of the area as my head turned checking out the different styles of homes along the way.
As we turned into the driveway I was taken back by the charming house I saw before me. As I stepped into the house, I immediately felt embraced by the warmth of the dining room. You know a warm feeling that makes you feel relaxed. A place you can be yourself, be a part of the conversations and laugh like there is no tomorrow.
As I was taken on a tour by Pat Bruno, patriarch of the family, the character of each room took on a life of its own. The warmth radiated from the walls with pictures of a happy family and a few pictures of Pat’s son, Kathy and Joe’s brother who died of cancer at the young age of twenty-three.
The wall in Pat’s bedroom held a part of his family all together in one room. Laughing faces, memories of the past in pictures, and paintings from a son gone too soon. Still, the love and warmth radiated from the walls filling the hearts of all who entered.
Soon, I met Daisy the cat, whose sweet meow, and presence commanded a, ” Look at me. I need my throat rubbed.” Since I am an animal lover, I was more than happy to oblige. Boo, a very handsome male golden retriever was friendly and welcomed everyone with a personal eye to eye, ” Hello.” Those two precious pets added to the warmth of each room they visited.
Then like a caravan, the rest of the family arrived bringing food and more food. As each one came in the hugging began, and did not end until the last person wrapped their arms around each family member. How refreshing to see the genuine love each one had for the other. As I looked around the house and listened to the loving conversations and the laughter coming from the kitchen, one could almost hear the house sighing a sigh of happiness.
Everything was ready, hungry family and friends, lined up and the plate filling began. Some sat at the two tables, some sat in the living room with plates loaded, and award-winning aromas meandered through the rooms. Two prayers and a unison, “Amen” and the eating commenced.
I sat in the corner of the added table and listened to the conversations, watching the children having fun, enjoying their corn dogs and fried chicken. The beautiful baby girl with the high pigtails stole the show and had everyone in the palm of her hand, with her infectious smile. I saw the happiness on their faces as they enjoyed each other’s company.
Since I recently had surgery, I was unable to eat any of the food that smelled so wonderful. But Kathy whose heart is so giving made things I could eat and for that I was thankful.
As I continued listening and looking around, I wondered how many families were blessed to have members that genuinely loved each other, helped each other, who laughed together and were always ready to lend a helping hand. Or a great-grandson, who paid tribute to his great-grandfather with a beautiful school report. The character of each person stood out to me on that rainy, damp day.
After the desserts were dished out, I asked if I could help clean up and smiled when Kathy said, ” Oh no, wait until it is almost time for some of them to leave. It’s like magic. It will look like we never had anything.” She was right! Everything was cleaned up and put away. How nice! As the families packed up and got ready to head home, the hugging started again.
As we got ready to leave I looked around the house one more time. It was a wonderful day with wonderful people who worked hard, cared about everyone they met and always left a lasting memory for all to take home and hold in their hearts.
Riding home, I thought about scripture which encompassed the day. I felt in my heart that this was appropriate for the house that held a special family.
” Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all thing, believes all things, hope all things, endures all things.
In this time of uncertainty, it is so refreshing to be part of a family who shines. Thank you to Kathy Rick, Pat, Jane and the entire family for lessons from your loving hearts.