It was recently it was that a lovely lady named Edna sent me a letter tellin me how much she appreciated my writin and during the course of her rather lengthy tome, began tellin me about the problems that she be now havin with her daughter in law and her son.
She didn't exactly ask for my advice on how to deal with the situation, but if I be havin a mind to be a 'Dear Abby' type of person, I think that I would be writin something along the lines of what follows.
Dear Sweet Lady.
I have an inkling I do of the pain that must be deep down there in ye heart at not being loved, appreciated and cared for by ye family, and judgin by some of the things that ye wrote, it is as plain as the nose on ye face that ye have been doin the best ye can to create the sort of relationship that ye'd like to be havin with them.
I don't want you be takin offense now by what I be writin, but the truth of the matter is that no matter how we might see ourselves, others often see us differently. I'm sure that there be those knowing all three of ye that would disagree on who it is that is in the right, or who it is that must change, or why it is and who it is that is responsible for the way things be.
Each person is flawed in many ways, not the least of which is the way in which they view themselves and others. And sure it is that only God himself knows the true heart and motivation of each and every soul.
And so it is that I would not dare to advise ye on strategies to 'turn the situation around', as ye put it, for being but a mortal man I have no way of tellin what will result in good and what will result in harm.
Many a fine preacher has taught that if ye do right and harm none, then blessings will come ye way. Christian folk are mostly taught that good deeds result in good rewards, but is that really the case is it now?
The chief example of our Christan way is Jesus himself, and look what happened to him. Hunted, persecuted, falsely accused and finally murdered. Indeed, the blessed Saint Peter, the rock on whom the Holy Mother Church was built, himself wrote letters passed down to us, warning that our greatest expectation in this life would be suffering.
Human nature bein what it is, we are always trying to manipulate and control both circumstances and people around us, to achieve the wants and willings of our hearts. And I'm not sayin that it is necessarily a bad thing, but we sometimes forget the realities of this mortal life.
Each person is responsible for their own life, and no matter the purity of our wants and desires, we can never force people to become anything other than what they are. And so it is my dear lady, that no matter what ye might do to foster good relations with ye good relations, they may not respond in like manner.
If I were to give you some good straight advice it would be this: 'Do everything with a pure intent and expect nothing in return'.
If what ye get in return brings joy to ye heart, then the Lord love ye for it. But if what ye get in return is animosity and persecution, remember that what ye have done was not done for rewards sake, and that the lack of charity dished out to ye is just a sign of one of God's wee ones gone astray. Let it and them go, and pray that like the prodigal son, they one day come runnin home to ye open and lovin arms.
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!
John (Jack) Walsh.
John J. Walsh, a Catholic, is originally from Ireland; went to high school and university in Australia, and later moved to the U.S.A. He lives in the Midwest and is married to an American. He now has a lot of time on his hands and is taking the opportunity to see some of his musings in print. Fearing the hot blooded protestants and not wanting to reach heaven or hell faster than is God's plan, his email address and other particulars are not available for publication. You may however Email him c/-: johnjwalsh_magic @live.com