About 25 years ago, my parents decided to hire a cleaning woman to come to their home once a week. A few years after that, she began coming twice a week and not long after, she was coming for a few hours every day. As my mom’s health began to decline and she was doing more than ever for her, I know they appreciated her more than she could ever know. She did all of the jobs you would expect of a cleaning woman. She only spent a few hours each morning there, getting there by 7:30 each morning. My mom adored her and in return, she adored my mom. They were like sisters. This wonderful woman is named Linda and she is Portuguese. When she first started working for my parents, her English was very limited but despite their language barrier, my mom and Linda never failed to communicate. They shared stories and private jokes. They looked forward to their time together. Linda completely doted on my mom and she treats my grandmother as if she were her own! Our families have grown very close over the years. She went to all of our weddings and we were at her daughter’s. She has known our children since they were born. We can’t even call her “the cleaning lady”. She is too special for that. We consider her to be a part of our family.
Since my mom has died, Linda is still going to their home and taking care of my dad. She only spends a few hours there in the morning. She does his laundry and tidies up the house. It is good for him. I know that he appreciates her and all that she does for him and all that she did for my mom. Every so often, Linda invites our entire family to her home for a huge Portuguese feast. Tonight was one of those nights. She is a wonderful cook and she knows all of the delicacies that my grandma, dad and brothers like and she is sure to have plenty of them there! Tonight there was no shortage of food flowing; Chorizo, sardines, all sorts of meats,potatoes, flans and a multitude of desserts! My dad and brothers were oohing and aahing over each course she presented. I was devouring the desserts! All of the kids were playing on her lawn having a great time with her little granddaughter. Grammy was just enjoying all of the food and the company. We left there feeling full and feeling loved. I hope she knows just how much she is appreciated because she is truly a part of our family and we would not be the same without her.