By Zee Chevalier
Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall,
A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Mother’s Day is May 13. Some people have no mother, and some people have more than one. Some people are mothers, some are not, but everybody has or had a mother. Some grandmothers bring up their grandchildren and are mothers to them. If you were lucky enough to grow up in a neighbourhood with lots of children, you will remember when every kid on the block answered to everybody’s mother.
Mothers are thought of every day, everywhere, and it seems only right to have a special day to honour them. The earliest history of Mother’s Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival for Greeks and Romans. It was celebrated to honour maternal goddesses, but the celebration as it is observed these days is a tradition just over a hundred years old. It is celebrated in nearly fifty countries around the world, although on different dates.
Millions of people take the opportunity to honour their mother, to thank them for their very lives and for the effort and time spent raising them, believing in them, and being their constant support. For a moment, recall your special mother and offer a prayer of praise and gratitude for the role she played in your life.
How often have we heard the expression “She (or he) has the patience of Job”? That remark is frequently made in reference to teachers and caregivers, and more especially in reference to mothers. Think about your mother and other mothers you knew. How did they respond to some of your antics? Did you ever do something you knew was very wrong and immediately think “My mother’s going to kill me”? How often, with trepidation, you faced her expecting a punishment of some sort, and she just shook her head and benignly half-smiled as she gently chided you for your transgression, so ready to forgive you.
We see the effects of impatience in our world all the time. We hear news reports of parents abusing their children, and of road rage on our highways often resulting in violent accidents and sometimes fatalities. Less dramatic and more common are tempers flaring and harsh words uttered in response to slow-moving lines to the cashier in stores, or to being put on hold when using the telephone, or when our children fail to respond immediately to our calls and instructions.
Since impatience is so natural, how do we develop the divine virtue of patience? We must be committed to the goal of changing our actions to reflect patience, and not the opposite. We have to become aware of and sensitive to the examples of patience and impatience that occur all around us every day, strive to emulate those individuals we consider to be patient, and resolve each day to be more like them.
From The Power of Patience by Robert C. Oaks: “Patience may well be thought of as a gateway virtue, contributing to the growth and strength of its fellow virtues of forgiveness, tolerance, and faith. The lessons we learn from patience will cultivate our character, and heighten our happiness.”
Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. The very idea of patience may seem unpleasant. However, it is a process that deepens happiness and offers hope for peace. Patience isn’t simply waiting for something to happen. It requires actively working towards worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results don’t appear instantly or without effort.
Have you ever tried to learn a new skill? That requires patience, staying with it and doing all you can to achieve that goal; working at it, hoping, and having faith that you’ll eventually master it. That’s patience. It can feel like an endurance test.
Waiting can be hard. We live in a world offering fast food, instant messaging, and immediate answers. We don’t like to wait. Some even feel their blood pressure rising when their line at the grocery store moves more slowly than the others.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf says “Patience means staying with something until the end. It means delaying immediate gratification for future blessings. It means reining in anger and holding back the unkind word. It means resisting evil, even when it appears to be making others rich. Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith. Patience means to abide in faith, knowing that sometimes it is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most.”
Thanks to Roy Fletcher, who did the construction, Alfred L’Heureux, who looked after removing the Manitoba maple and stump that was in the way, and Tom Watson, who installed adequate lighting, the Seniors’ Centre now has easy access off Bell Street by way of a sturdy, well-appointed wheelchair ramp. Thank you, gentlemen. We appreciate the funding from the New Horizons for Seniors Program for this project.
On May 17 the Foot Clinic will be at the Clinton Seniors’ Centre at 217 Smith Avenue. Call Colleen Thom, RN, FCN, FCN Ed. at 1-250-819-1632 to discuss your foot care needs or to make an appointment.
The Clinton Seniors’ Association is pleased to announce two new members. Welcome to Irene McDonald and Laura Turner.
The next regular meeting of the Clinton Seniors’ Association is on May 17 following lunch at the Clinton Seniors’ Centre.
Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.