Me and Mrs Jones

Me and Mrs Jones

Mrs Jones sat in the lobby of the nursing home, 92 years old, poised and handsomely dressed, even though legally blind, waiting to be moved to another single room.

Her husband of 70 years had passed away, making the move more necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently, she smiled sweetly when told that her room was ready.

As she manoeuvred her walker to the elevator, a worker gave a visual description of her tiny room, including the window curtains.

“I love it”, she stated with the enthusiasm of a child who had just got a new puppy.

“But Mrs Jones, you haven’t seen the room,” the worker said.

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it”, Mrs Jones replied.

“Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.

“Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how I arrange the furniture; it’s how I arrange my mind.

“I have already decided to love it.

“It is a decision I make every morning when I wake up.

“I have a choice, I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

“Each day is a gift from God, and as long as I live I will focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away just for this time of life.”

Mrs Jones!

When I think of the joys in my life, the season now and the sadness like natural disasters, … Mrs Jones.

When I think of the money and possessions I have or my inability to have as much as I would like, … Mrs Jones.

When I go through a difficult phase in my life and cannot understand a particular event that causes a lot of pain and suffering, … Mrs Jones.

It seems to me we are living in a time that can bring us back to the essential, rediscovering what is permanent in our lives and what is fleeting.

This moment is a gift to be more fruitful.

I get help from looking at other events in my life that gave me joy and happiness, and take courage from John Paul II’s frequent reminder: “Be not afraid!”

Almost a year since Covid broke in New Zealand, Ash Wednesday, 2021 was the first time our parish could not share a combined service with the local Woolston St John’s Anglican Church.

Each year, the readings call us to a change of heart and teach us about the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

These disciplines are a familiar part of the Christian life but more so during the season of Lent, we renew our commitment to them.

No matter what measures or restrictions may be in place due to the pandemic, we have the tools we need and that no virus can take away: charity, compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude. … Me and Mrs Jones.

  • Paul Mulvaney is a freelance journalist living in Christchurch, New Zealand.
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