I’m a dreamer, a hoper, a believer … I love that we all can learn from each other.
I’m Judy Keefe, an older mother of 4 adult children and mom-in-law to their spouses, as well as grandmother to 3 grandgirls and 1 grandboy. I’ve had one heck-of-an-interesting life, and along the way discovered the word
I’ve been privileged to have had strong KinKeeping as a backdrop for me since I was little – as a concept that was always occurring — but I only found the name for it about 15 years ago. Since then I’ve been observing the ways KinKeeping works in our world. I’ve seen how much KinKeeping Matters, and how vital KinKeeping can be.
I was one of 7 children…
Our family was part of a farming community in rural spaces. I’ll remember always those special, growing-up times and the people who nurtured us! They were KinKeeping us – every time the family got together, or communicated from afar, every time the neighbors came over to help out – all those little events reinforce and strengthen the bonds in my memories.
Most of those memories of being KinKept are warm, snuggly, connected ones. So many times my family reached out – and other farm families reached out to us. Even in hard times, our rural culture did their best to protect and connect with each other, and the young, the old, the vulnerable. As we kids got older, we all carried on what had been modeled for us – naturally nurturing the Kin of all kinds. As part of who we were – and On PURPOSE. Intentionally. Putting thought and planning into the process. We tried to connect others into the “Paperchains” of our lives.
We’re Linked Together
On this website, in my blog, and in my book, KinKept: Intentionally Nurturing Connections, I am doing my small part to encourage people everywhere who value connection – hoping we can all cheer each other on!
You may already approach the relationships of your life intentionally, mindfully – you may be aware that your thoughts, intentions, and actions make a difference for yourself and others.
Or maybe you’ve never really thought about all those connections, how important they are, and how they happen. If that’s you, hang around to check out some ideas I’ve seen, heard about, learned and maybe even tried, and just see what you think.
I am convinced that you’ll soon wind up coming up with realizations of how you’ve been KinKept – and understandings of how you yourself KinKeep.
Most all of us are already KinKeepers at some level and energy – and how exciting to think that any of us can become even more intentional about our KinKeeping!
I want to help share the marvelous KinKeeping ideas you and your KinGroups use to stay connected. We can all help strengthen each others’ hearts to do this lovely, necessary work of KinKeeping – it brings with it so many, many rewards! For us – and for the whole human race. What if we could help wipe out Loneliness for ourselves and those we love – and even spread it far, far around the world?!
Judy's Book: KinKept
Each link we have to someone or something outside of ourselves is like a link in a colorful paperchain. It’s on this theme that Judy has created the series of little true stories in her book, KinKept.
The One Who Started It All
And here’s the little corker who started it all for me – my mother, Doris Capp. I have so very few pictures of her as a young woman, but so many precious images of her across the years, hidden in my heart. Mother was always a dreamer, always believing for good to come to all she loved.
She KinKept me so closely all my life – and she did her level best to KinKeep all of us in the family, and outward to her friends and neighbors, her community, and the world at large. She made a positive impression on people as she worked to share her enthusiasm, encouragement, hope, and belief.
Mother believed everyone deserved another chance – and she would connect with them – with all she had, down to her literal last dollar on more than one occasion. The first story in my book, “KinKept: Intentionally Nurturing Connections”, is about this feisty little woman and my memories of her picking up hitchhikers back in the day.
Mother was so strongly connected to life, to her family, her friends, her church, her community, her world – and she was always interested in so many things! I get my overdose of curiosity from her – and I’ve always been thankful for that. She paid attention to her life and always kept learning, watching, cheering people on.
Probably my favorite quote of my mother’s came about as she lay on her side facing away from us in her nursing home bed, curled up for comfort, on hospice care. Someone said, “Gosh, Mom, I’m so sorry you don’t get to have fun anymore.”
She raised her head to look back at us, and, her eyes snapping, said,
“Don’t you feel sorry for me!
I have fun in my head!”
I love knowing she was dancing away inside, rich with memories of experiences she had enjoyed and people she loved, even as she prepared to pass from this life.
My dad was more reserved, with the quiet, steady personality that fit well with a farmer’s life of long hours out on the tractor putting in and harvesting the crops, then milking cows and taking care of the livestock. Still, he was always ready to go help out a neighbor, give someone a ride, share whatever he could.
Together, my parents made a KinKeeping trail for us all to follow, and I will always be grateful for their example.
In later years, Mother began a project she called
that helped her stay connected with her grandkids who lived around the country. She also wrote a published article called, “Grandma’s Strings” (Mature Living Magazine) where she talked about how important it is to take intentional steps to keep those family ties tightly tied. She invested a lot of time, strength and energy trying to help keep us all connected, from the littlest to the oldest. She made sure we knew we were important and had something we would accomplish while we were on the earth,
I’m still so very connected to the rich, black, fertile Minnesota soil that made such an impression on my own heart and taught me the value of tending to farm fields.
Having the privilege of growing up on a small farm in a connected, rural community planted the seeds that made me want to reach out and connect with people all my life. Those seeds have grown a healthy, vibrant crop that keeps growing, now stretching out across the world — a crop much like these beautiful soybeans still grown on my brothers’ fields.
For this “farming” adventure I’m on with KinKeeping.com, I’ll be happy with a harvest of even One Person who gets interested in KinKeeping and decides to learn more about being a KinKeeper!