Just love 'em - Catholic Courier

Just love ’em

Katherine Zimmer was born in 1932 and died in 2012. As a child, she dreamed of one day being a mother, but she never married. She never had any children. But her sisters had plenty of kids and Kay was always willing to baby-sit and care for them, including her niece, who is my wife Belinda — and including our own three children — and countless relatives and friends who she cared for so lovingly over the years. She was mother to none but a godmother several times over and an aunt and great-aunt and great-great-aunt to so many.

I once asked Kay what it takes to raise a child in such a challenging world. Without missing a beat, she said, "Just love ’em." Good advice. As Belinda and I are raising our three children to adulthood and beyond — with so many parenting peaks and valleys, joys and struggles and challenges along the way — many times when I’ve wondered how to handle a difficult parenting moment — Aunt Kay’s words of wisdom have come back to counsel me — just love ’em. And so that’s what I did. That’s what we did — Belinda and I — as parents.

And Kay’s advice was always right — good, sound advice for any parent. Good advice for any grandparent or uncle or aunt wondering how to deal with a child whom we just don’t know how to deal with — just love ’em.

Near the end of her 80 years, Kay took the time to write down her biography — and she wrote about her childhood wish to have and to hold many, many children. What a beautiful dream — but one that never came to pass. And although she never had children of her own, Kay cared for and held many, many children — and she just loved ’em. And we all just loved her, too.

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