St. Lulu could handle any crisis no matter how unseemly it was. She welcomed anyone into her home always and fed them in body and ego and spirit and gave them presents and sent them back into the world when they were ready.
Her limitless giving was sometimes frightening. People liked it best when they were the person she was loving and accepting and helping wholly. She was amazingly talented at upholding the human dignity in everyone.
Her son told me that one time her children gave her a digital camera and then her favorite priest came over on his way somewhere and she gave him the camera because he needed it more than she did.
She was a giver and lover of people and she took a lot of flap for it.
I met her when I was 18. Here are some of the things she did for me:
- Never never never criticized my essential self,
- gave me tons of stuff I thought I needed,
- when I was 21 I stayed at her house the night before I left to study abroad in Sierra Leone. She stayed up with me and put her arm around me because I was suddenly so scared I couldn't deal with knowing how much my life was going to change...and it did,
- when I was 22 she welcomed my African husband and me home with open arms and she and her husband slept on the couch and gave us their master bedroom,
- when I was 24 she helped me learn to parent and gave me stuff that I actually did need, like clothes for Nina and patience,
- later in my 20's and 30's she coached me through other life events that were hideous and embarrassing.
I knew the day I met her I wanted to be like her. Later in life I added the phrase, "but with boundaries." I'm still trying to figure out the ratio of giving to boundary.
The reason I put together this blog in her honor is because Lois aka St. Lulu was often judged for her generosity, people saw her as a victim and a martyr, but I think Lois was here doing what she was meant to do. She was actually her happiest when she was helping other people, no matter the cost. Judging her never seemed to make anything better for anyone.
Every time I give freely or experience others doing so I think about her and the world of one that she lived in and I see her throwing her head back and laughing in joy.