This noon I had lunch with Rachel, my daughter, at Rachel’s Bread. It was a happy choice for us. I told the two Rachels that when I told my mother that she had a granddaughter named Rachel my mother exclaimed that if I had been a baby girl they would have named me Rachel.
Ruth Martin, my mother, was a meek, but strong woman. She was the youngest of seven siblings. Her mother died in childbirth when my mother was about a year old. So Lizzie, her oldest sister became like a mother to her. As a wife and mother she became responsible for the winter-time care of the small farm which included house maintenance, care of chickens, cow, and hogs, and the rearing of her two sons. Aunt Lizzie came to live with us the day I was born and stayed there until she retired at Menno Haven.
Rachel returned me to Greencroft in time for me to play table games for two hours and then g0 to my castle where watching TV was an option. I had watched clips of Muhammad Ali’s boxing career. Now I broke into the memorial service for Muhammad Ali.
I listened as a teenage young woman described how her life had been changed through the intervention of Muhammad Ali. Billy Crystal described how he became Ali’s “little brother”. Bill Clinton concluded with a eulogy in which he eloquently described what he called the second half of Ali’s life. The first half of his life had been devoted to a single gift, the athletic gift of boxing.
The second half of his life highlighted Ali’s other gifts as he aged and struggled for thirty years of parkonsen disease that slowly hastened the diminishment of his abilities, I liked that. I assume that most us who read this are living in the second half of our lives. Do we have the ego to make the most of it.
This morning I listened to a recording of the first half of the memorial service. I heard the opening tribute by his widow. Ali is not a model but from the stories of Ali’s life I better understand the role of the ego in a determination to persist to success.
How much ego will the meek need to inherit the earth, as they will do according to Jesus?
words taken from a faded clipping found in the bottom of my dear mother’s drawer:
What use am I?” What use am I?”
Oh, never let that be your cry.
If you’re a drop, if you’re a sea,
Well then be that I say! But BE!