This I Believe

Melissa - Bryan, Texas
Entered on January 10, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in Holy Days of Opportunity.

Sometime ago the Catholic Church made the word change from “Obligation” to “Opportunity”. And while they were referring to special days in the Church to honor saints and miracles, I took it to heart to mean my place in the human race and everyday affairs. As a woman, a writer, a wife, a mother, a daughter, sister, aunt and hopefully one day, a grandmother.

There is a bigger purpose to these celebrations, large and small, that go on in our lives; they bind us together. It is the things we do as a family and to each other that will eternally tie us together.

The bad things come easily. The squabbling children, the overworked spouse, the nosy neighbors and the list goes on and on. Sometimes even the good things come with annoyance-the birthdays that fall the same day as the mortgage, the ballet recital the same time as playoffs. So why would I want to add yet one more thing to do?

Because the past needs to be remembered. And what I am doing right now, with my family, my children and my friends is already the past and will be remembered. I can let things just happen or I can create them. While it’s easier to let things just happen, it’s far more rewarding to create them. What others experience with me will be what they carry with them throughout their lives. Why not make it about joy?

The celebrations of Christmas, Easter and even Midsummer’s Eve are times I give thanks and celebration for my family and our lives. It doesn’t have to do with being Catholic or even Christian. Teaching children how to make dolls from daffodils may not be a skill they use for the rest of their lives, but it may teach them to always see the flowers. They may not always leave tea out for the faerie folk on Midsummer’s Eve, but there will be times when late at night the wind is just right and the stars bright, they will remember. And they might pull out the phone, call their siblings and say, “I was just sitting out on the deck tonight thinking of mother. Remember how she used to make us set out tea for the fairies when we were little? I was thinking maybe we could get together this summer…”

I may not always be around for my family and those I love, but what I teach them, what I celebrate with them, I pray, always will.

One afternoon, a good fifteen years ago, one of my twins announced she wanted to change her name. Not the whole thing she told, me just her first name. She wanted to be called Party.

“But why?” I asked, totally perplexed at such a thing.

She gave me a delighted five year old grin and said “Then I could be Party Moore”.

What an opportunity.