Friday, May 10, 2013

Alfred Reflects on Mother’s Day

            Mother’s day is one of those awkward days, it’s not on the Church Calendar, but even in my business it’s good for marketing.  Our store is featuring some wonderful Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren cashmere sweaters, a little pricey perhaps, but there’s nothing quite like the feel of cashmere.  But then again, if the truth be told, Mother’s Day is not really about marketing, despite what my Sales Manager Raphael Vilas says.

            I have long been fond of one or Christina Rossetti’s early poems that she wrote for her Mother when she was only eleven.

To My Mother   - Christina Rossetti (1842)

To-day’s your natal day,
Sweet flowers I bring;
Mother, accept, I pray,
My offering.

And may you happy live,
And long us bless;
Receiving as you give
Great happiness.

What I like about the poem is Christina’s childish simplicity.  She brings flowers to her Mother on her birthday, asking that her offering be accepted, and then she prays that her Mother might live a happy life, and bless her children and receive great happiness as she gives her motherly love to them.

As you know, Mother and I have been having a little stress over my recent faith decision, and occasionally, as you are probably also aware, Mother can be a little testy at times.  But I am mindful that Mother really loves our son Jeremy and his fiancé Winifred; and she also quite as clearly loves me.  So even if I have to jostle for a little bit of elbow room once in a while, I want you to know that Mother does have a good heart.  Above all she possesses a unique quality, pride of place.  She knows what is important and ought to be kept in first place at all times.  For Mother that is our family and our home.  Some may find pride of place in others annoying, but from my viewpoint those who have no pride of place, nothing to elevate and hold dear, are bereft of one of the foundations stones of character.  True, Mother is wrestling with the place of faith in her life but she does love, and love so very often does win out.

The other thing about Mother is that she places a high value on truth, so high a value in fact that she has been on occasion known to call a fool “a fool.”  There are times when that is inconvenient, and other times when it may be the very best thing for the fool in question. Once in a while she has chafed me over some dereliction or other, and often I must ruefully admit that she is right.

The third thing, you might think it a negative trait, but I don’t; the third thing is that Mother can be very stubborn, but the word “stubborn” is misleading.  Mother is steadfast, not only about some things that she doesn't need to be steadfast about, but also in areas where being steadfast is a saving grace.

And perhaps, above all, Mother is very creative and I treasure the myriad of ways in which she manoeuvre's through the wicked world of ours.  Can you imagine what Mother would be like if she were to come consciously to faith?  Even as it is, she is a very fine woman, and I love her.

 “ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable  whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” [Philippians 4:8].

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