The surrounding air dripped with laughter; billows of love followed her path. Her “Long Island” accent and New York brashness made her even more endearing. She was a New York City Big Band singer in the “30’s”, swapping her promising career for marriage and motherhood; her greater love.
Her quick wit and sharpness lasted her 94 years. She spun stories: enthralling with tales and imagination. Whether a hymn or nursery rhythm, she crooned with magic. Her “Long Island” twist made everything sound more interesting, especially to a bunch of Virginians. Years later, we realized her accent was the reason “… it was always prettier when Miss Dot sang it.” “… Liwkk a diawmund in the skwye…”. To our daughter, she was every bit a “star.”
She was our family friend for the last 23 years of her life; a kindred spirit.
A “Kindred Spirit” is one whose spirit resonates with your own; and even though years may separate your age, there is an unmistakable bond.
In the earlier years of our friendship, she was a babysitter. Mary Poppins arriving with a bag full of props would be a suitable analogy! Finger puppets telling “The Three Little Pigs” was a favorite. Her sagas were acted out as she sat on the floor at child level, entering the world of imagination like a pro. She knew how to give undivided attention and how to love with her actions.
It was not long before “Miss Dot” and Olivia had a lifetime connection. She waltzed into Liv’s infant years with exuberant choreography and danced through twenty years of Olivia’s life with gaiety and grace.
“Hello Darling,” was a cherished greeting. Liv doesn’t recall anyone else calling her “Darling” at every meeting. Her heart still warms at the sound of those words.
At the top of our memory list, is the song “Miss Dot” composed …. “Olivia, Olivia, the girl from Virginia, the girl with the dazzling eyes, She’s charming, she’s witty and oh, she’s so pretty the apple of her Daddy’s eye ……” She sang it at every visit.
Lucy Maud Montgomery, in her Anne of Green Gables series, illustrates some shining examples of “Kindred Spirits.” It is the place my daughter was first introduced to the concept, in words; they were already apparent in her life. It was not long after “Anne-girl” became part of her world, she labeled her “kindred spirits.” Miss Dot was one of the few.
It is a gift to look past age to the heart. It opens life to unending possibilities. Some of the greatest influences come from the most unexpected pairings; the ones no one can predict, prearrange, or mandate. Kindred Spirits are found when two hearts meet and recognize a spirit like their own. These are the friendships where you know, if you had been born next door, you would have been life-long friends, bosom buddies.
A Kindred Spirit can appear without a moment’s notice. It is one of life’s amazing mysteries, not completely making sense, but is … completely perfect.
Who is your “Miss Dot”?
Cherishing Kindred Spirits,
Feel free to share with a friend(s).
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