About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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«In the same quarter where he was crucified there was a garden.» (John 19:41) — The word “garden” hinted at Eden and the fall of man, as it also suggested through its flowers in the springtime the Resurrection from the dead.
— Fulton J. Sheen

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Aging Insights and some for Everyone
published 17 December 2012 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

SPEAK about and write a lot about widows, being one myself. Here is something I love telling you about. Even if you are not a widow, I bet you know some widows. One of the widows I met who was longing to be a contemplative finds herself instead with a vocation, at least for now, that many widows have: 24/7 service to the wider family. With her dear ones spread out all around the U.S., she is busy driving or flying to meet every situation where another heart, another hand, another spiritual warrior is needed. The big time she has for contemplation is on the long car and airline trips to these family members! Last time she brought with her a beautiful young Vietnamese nun in a habit who was looking for an English language immersion. People were thrilled to see a spiritual woman in a habit again.

Now, visiting my family, I got a new insight. After a semester as a professor in a small school where I get to be kinda a V.I.P. it could be good for the humility to be with family members who usually are not eager to be lectured to! Generally, I feel like an 8th wheel, as I joke bitterly, because I cannot easily know when anything is going to happen with 2 parents and 5 children around. But this time I realized that I get something better than being the 2nd wheel: this huge empathy from my very motherly daughters who feel sorry for all the crosses I have ever borne, some of which no one at the seminary knows about in spite of my garrulous sharings! Actually old folks need to learn role reversal where our adult children want to parent us in our relative fragility. I complain a lot about old-age difficulties: “senility,” aches and pains, failures (I can’t even open a can with a can-opener unless it’s electric). But I thought today it would be better simply to rejoice the more in everything that went okay. Thank you, God, for the use of the car, even though I didn’t figure out how to work my son-in-law’s car-heater, etc. etc.

Insight of one of my daughters: “There are 3 people in a marriage. Myself, my husband, and the hidden person who my spouse remembers from the past when he is mad at me and who he fights against by double danger at me.” If the shoe fits….

Of late I find that just hearing the voice of a priest whose Mass I have participated in is consoling. The timbre is like a song of Jesus?

In those scales the saints often write about where you have the first step, the second step… it is often listed as the very best when one can cherish insults. I am far from there but I am getting to a stage where I immediately apologize for my part in a dispute, even if the other seems more wrong because I see that such ready apology is an antidote to pride and harsh judgment.