I wrote this on Friday, 10 May 2013. That was the day of my husband's mother's funeral. It was therefore a sad day for us, but also a day of celebration. She lived a "good long life" (she died at the age of 96) and felt ready to go. Although her son sometimes feels that she led a hard life (especially with the personal fallout of World War II), she always insisted that she had only good memories.
In the guestbook, I wrote: "I will forever be grateful to my mother-in-law for giving me the greatest gift she could give: the love of my life, the love of her life, her son."
Then I started to think about how his mum had helped my sweetheart become the wonderfully caring man that he is. And that's when this African proverb came to mind:
"What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn."
Mrs. C loved the birds, the forests, the flowers, her garden. And Peter loves all Creation, too.
It's a simple thing, isn't it? What you love will be what your child learns to love. So, parents, love the right things. Love the good things, the life-giving things.
"Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."