Lessons from my Mom
My Mother. My Mother, I'll tell two stories and then let you discuss. Put on your gracious Irish post-lace-curtain near-middle class Long Island accent for this, 'cuz I'm gonna.
Preamble to Stories: My Mother wanted to be a member of the nunnery, she was highly recruited, and as a basically good person, could be a devout nun, even a pious (in the good sense) nun. This was a time of honor, a time when devotion meant something positive. A big family value, if you will.
Well, yada yada, flash forward 35 years or so. My Mother, who had been very active in the Catholic Church for like ever, became the head of Catholic Charities, and generally had her hand in the practical everyday affairs of the Diocese. Being an altar boy I had been working the altar boy circuit, but that was years past.
As I recall the stories, I may take license here, but not gonna lie, truth.
So, Story 1: Late one night, probably 10pm or so, a man knocks on the door of the Sacristy, disturbing the priests and (grr, name of the lady who answered the door, can't remember). The man pleads with the priest, "Please, Father, my children need some food, I only need twenty dollars and I can feed them". So the priest hands the man twenty dollars and blesses him and sends the very grateful man on his way.
The next day Mom hears of this story. She bursts into his office (license, but not a lie haha) and tells the priest, "You idiot! You should have driven him home and brought a bag of Wetson's and fries on the counter and fed the family. Instead, because you were annoyed and it was late, you gave a drunk twenty dollars, who then went and bought a bunch of hooch and then went home and put his wife in a hospital." The facts are true despite my embellishment. I do that because it makes me angry. Plus my Mom would.
So, Story 2: My Mom helped people. As manager, oh wait, Catholic Charities Czar, haha, it was her job to oversee some amount Saint Sylvester's Catholic Charities budget and make sure it was well-used. How corrupt was she? She implemented an event where, every year, in late August, she would open up the church parking lot to everyone in the town. And she encouraged local businesses to donate and participate, and she got the chamber of commerce involved, and she used cc funds to provide new shoes, notebooks, shirts and other clothing, pens, hats.. for free. To ANYONE who wanted them. Didn't matter if they went to church. Didn't matter if they couldn't get there, just call and give shoe sizes.
And because of Pat, many, many children went to school that year (and many years after) with a spring in their step, which happened to have a new sneaker on it, for school.
My Mom Rocked.