November 23, 2018

Cornucopia / Cynthia Dewes

In thanksgiving for the ‘cornucopia’ of life

Cynthia DewesLife is an abundant cornucopia for which we thank God on our nation’s appointed holiday (holy day) of Thanksgiving. Like everyone, my life has been a cornucopia of opportunities and challenges, joys and sorrows which I’ve tried to share with Criterion readers for many years.

But now it’s time to hang it up.

Macular degeneration has made me too blind to continue. Scripture says we all have a cross to bear, and this is mine.

I have a friend who was head of the speech and hearing department at a university who’s gone stone deaf, and the two of us commiserate about the crosses we’ve been cleverly assigned so appropriately to keep us humble.

But I am supported by my wonderful husband who drives me everywhere, including to ladies’ lunches where he suffers through our chatter. He can see, but he’s deaf, so we joke that between us, deaf and blind, we make one more or less functional adult.

My children are wonderful too, and although most of them live far away, they are attentive and helpful. Our son in Indianapolis and his family get to help us the most, lucky them, but they are always cheerful about it. We have a group of friends who are also very supportive and helpful.

With them, we enjoy dinner parties and lunches after church and phone calls. We used to travel with them, too, but now we depend upon photographs and memories to take us abroad. Fortunately, we traveled on our own a lot, back when we could afford it and were more mobile. My advice is to travel while you can because the ideal time may never appear.

Whining does absolutely no good for anyone, so we do what we can. I listen to the free talking books available from the state library, and I find myself “reading” books I’d never have known about except for their catalog of choices. Recently, I listened to a great book titled The President is Missing, written by former President Bill Clinton and mystery writer James Patterson.

Thanks to the two authors, it’s well written and exciting, and the details about presidential affairs are interesting and informative. It’s a great “read,” so to speak. I’ve also ordered books that are specific to my sometimes obscure interests, such as minutiae about Hemingway and good writers like James Agee.

All of which confirms my opinion that God is not only in charge, but he knows what he’s doing. It’s always right. Moreover, I’ve learned to be still and let God speak to me. I’ve learned that doing nothing can be productive in a special way and certainly good for my prayer life.

Many thanks, too, go to the faithful parishes we’ve attended: St. Pius X and St. Monica, both in Indianapolis, and now St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Greencastle. The pastors and parishioners and their ministries have brought me much joy and inspiration.

Over the years, I hope I’ve entertained, informed and shared with you what I know about living. Thank you for your kind attention, and if I’ve infuriated you now and then, I apologize. And I thank my editors and friends at the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center in Indianapolis for making my workplace a pleasure.

At this time of Thanksgiving, I can’t praise God enough for the cornucopia of a wonderful life. As I hope to say one day at the end, “See you later!

(Cynthia Dewes, a member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Greencastle, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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