A week or so ago I promised a story about my lamb Raspberry. And so, true to my word, here it is.
Years ago, when I was 12 or so, I was in 4-H. One of the activities we could participate in was raising a sheep for show. I was all for it, and my Daddy was willing to help me, so we went to the auction. The lamb I got had an 8 painted on his back, so I thought about calling him Eight Ball. (My only friend with a two-story house also had a pool table, so I knew stuff–yessiree.)
After getting him home and in the pen Daddy had fashioned for him, my siblings were introduced. My little brother Bubba, who was maybe 3 or 4, was fascinated with the gentle creature. He helped me bathe him and lead him around with the rope.
One day Bubba came in the house with a couple of raspberries in his sweaty little hand. He had picked them from the bushes out in the side yard–another 4-H project I think. He offered them to Mama as a gift. As she plucked them from his hand, she gushed with appreciation. “Aren’t you kind to pick these and bring them to me? What a sweet gift from a sweet boy.” And then she popped them in her mouth and ate them with exaggeration, oohing and mmmmming.
“Oh good,” Bubba said, “’cause the lamb didn’t want them.”
Yep, turned out he’d offered those same berries to my lamb, who sniffed and mouthed at them but decided better of it.
And then my sweet Mama took my little brother in her arms, hid her disgusted face, hugged him and said, “Thank you very much for thinking of me.”
And from that moment on that story became part of our family lore, and the lamb who wanted none of the red jeweled berries earned that as his moniker.
I miss my Mama. You could give her a rock (and we often did), and she’d act like it was the greatest treasure on earth. And no telling how many bookmarks I made her over the years, and she loved–and used–every single one of them.
Because she loved me.
That’s a big legacy to live up to.
May we all have someone who finds delight in whatever we have to offer, no matter how big or small, beautiful or not, previously “nibbled” or whatever–just loves it because they love us.
Love to all.