When I began working at Ashley Hills two years ago, Pennie, the groomer, and I took an immediate liking to one another. One day she asked me if she could adopt me as her mother. I answered without hesitation, “Yes, I am adoptable.” With a hug to confirm this change in status, life for us both changed that day.
Pennie is 46 years old, and is the mother of three grown children. She is also the mother of a two-year-old adopted son, who was born to a meth-addicted young woman. It has been a joy watching Lance these past two years, and celebrating with Pennie every achievement he has made in his little life. Pennie also has a menagerie of animals – I don’t know how many- too many for me to count. But they consist of bulldogs that she breeds, goats, horses, chickens, other assorted dogs, a parakeet, and perhaps a cat or two. All of this is related to the reader as the background for how Pennie has brightened my collection of days and how much she means to me.
During the past two years, Pennie has walked along beside me and has been my steadfast friend and cheerleader. We talk and laugh and cry and confide and share. One day, as I was sitting on my pity potty, bemoaning a relationship that had gone nowhere, and I was questioning my ability to ever attract a man to even invite me to go out to dinner, she said something to me that has stayed with me and never ceases to make me smile. She claims this is in the Bible. I have never seen the scripture, but I trust her that she knows what she is talking about.
“Jennie, a woman is a piece of fine china, and a good man will see this in you and treat you as one.” A simple statement, not necessarily Biblical, but it has stuck with me. Pennie swears that it is in the Bible. As I have met men in my life, and especially since my adventures with Bachelors 1, 2, and 3 (please refer to my earlier blog), this phrase has tumbled through my mind countless times. It reminds me of my mother’s Radford china, the set with violets and a gold rim. I remember how Mama brought out this china for family dinners, and how proud she was of her dinner table when it was set with this lovely china for us all to use and enjoy. I also remember that these dishes never saw the inside of a dishwasher. After dinner, they were gently washed, delicately dried by hand, and lovingly set back on the shelf in the corner cabinet in the dining room. Unlike my set of wedding china, which has only seen the light of day a handful of times, Mama’s china was part of her life, her family, and who she was. She enjoyed using it and was very proud of it. And, if a piece should happen to slip out of a child’s hand while drying it, she would comfort the child while picking up the shards and gently placing them in the trash can. There was never any punishment, but the sense of loss was real. Mama truly cherished her fine china.
This all brings me back to Pennie’s statement about women. I am believing more and more that I am indeed a piece of fine china. I am not a piece to be set on the shelf only to be admired and dusted from time to time. I am valuable. I am real. And I am worthy of loving treatment and care. I am also beginning to believe that I am beautiful. And while there may be many individuals out there who don’t see and appreciate me as a piece of fine china, I don’t need them in my life, anyway. They just don’t know what they are missing!
Whether or not this is in the Bible, Pennie, we are a piece of fine china, each of us a unique pattern. Let’s not ever forget it!