My Mother was second born of ten children (5 girls and 5 boys). Their father died when the youngest (Ruthie) was only 2. My mother and her siblings quickly learned that life was a serious matter of finding work and putting food on their large dining room table.
The Depression added to the difficulty that all families were facing. Personal plans for marriage and children were put on hold so one could remain close to home and help pay the bills.
Mom was quite satisfied living her single life. She had found a good job as a secretary in a paper company, she had friends and all those siblings for fun and company . . . until Phil showed up. Phil is my dad. He took young Rosemary “away from her family.”
In fact all nine married . . . all except Margaret. She never married, (why I don’t know . . . that’s none of my business). But I can tell you she was my favorite among all my aunts and uncles. “Aunt Peggy” had a special way about her. She remembered you in a way that made you feel like she really cared – – not just on your birthday.
She was light hearted and fun, and laughed at her brothers and sister’s sometimes too serious approach to life. Peggy would light up a room with her happy ways.
And this is the point . . . happiness comes in many different ways. Sometimes we think “I’ll never be happy until I . . . get married, have children/grandchildren, get the job/promotion, find the dream house, retire etc.”
No, the single life can be a special calling to a lived freedom that most others, because of family obligations, can- not maintain. Properly lived, it is a freedom “for others”.
The single Christian can:
- Be a dear friend to many (beyond the friendship hus- bands and wives can offer).
- Keep our deepest worries and fears . . . secret.
- Be a voice of guidance and encouragement to children/grandchildren in a way parents can’t.
- Be a source of fun (and sometimes money!) for friends that have grown weary of life.
- Come at a moments notice when needed.
- Be a sign of Christ (He was single).
- Totally devote yourself to whatever is your passion.
- Not pulled by a 1000 interruptions, you can really listen to others.
- Go on retreat. Learn to pray. Find out “Who am I?”
- Give your gift of time to those who need someone to be with them.
- Read. Learn something.
- Spend the gift of time and freedom for some “cause” that will make this a better world.
Please know how much we love and need our single brothers and sisters. You bring friendship, joy and fun to your family and friends.
God bless and keep us all.