Thursday, January 5, 2017

"The Grand and the Simple, They Are Equally Wonderful." Marjorie Hinckley

30 Day Writing Challenge:

Write about someone who inspires you.

Marjorie Pay Hinckley inspires me still.  She's been gone for nearly 13 years, but I still think of her demeanor, words, gentleness, quiet self-confidence, and wisdom.

Sister Hinckley was practical:

"Happy ironing! The most enjoyable of all household duties," was the tag on her granddaughter's shower gift of an iron.  When her granddaughter had gone away to college, Sister Hinckley told her to study interesting subjects so that when she was at home doing the ironing she'd have something exciting to think about.  

Ironing would be total drudgery to me today without her insight.  I usually listen to a book on tape or podcast when I iron because of her advice to her granddaughter.

Sister Hinckley was wise:

“We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.”

Her ability to love and trust who she was becoming radiated in her countenance.  She reminds me to be at peace with the rather horrifying experience of aging and falling apart.

Sister Hinckley was content with who she was:

Her daughter wrote:  "Mother was getting ready for an occasion when I dropped by the apartment late one afternoon.  When she told me where she was going -- as she reached for a pleated skirt and white cotton blouse -- I gasped, "Mother, this is a huge thing . . . The reception is in honor of Dad and you.  He's probably going to wear a tux.  Every woman there will have on sequins and diamonds.

"Continuing to dress, completely unruffled, she said, 'Well, I don't have any sequins in my closet.  But this skirt is black, and the blouse does have a lace collar.  And besides that, if we're the guests of honor, whatever I wear will have to be right!"  

When I put on a clean, pressed, simple, comfortable dress, and get a sideways glance from Calvin, I think of Sister Hinckley and wear it anyway.  I remember this when I have to wear sensible shoes instead of fashionable ones, too.

Sister Hinckley was real:

"How did a nice girl like me get in a mess like this?"  She repeated this over and over (with tears running down her face as she vacuumed the living room floor) after learning that her husband, Gordon, would become the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This is my go-to phrase when I'm caught in a bind not of my making.

Sister Hinckley was a smart mother:

" . . . you have to trust your children.  I tried hard never to say 'no' if I could possibly say 'yes.'" 

"Save the relationship" was the response she gave to her granddaughter when she asked for advice on how to deal with her child that was throwing fits.

I often think of this when I hear myself saying, "No.  No.  No."  Yes is such a pleasant sound.

Sister Hinckley was an exemplary wife:

“I know it is hard for you young mothers to believe that almost before you can turn around the children will be gone and you will be alone with your husband. You had better be sure you are developing the kind of love and friendship that will be delightful and enduring. Let the children learn from your attitude that he is important. Encourage him. Be kind. It is a rough world, and he, like everyone else, is fighting to survive. Be cheerful. Don't be a whiner.”

"It's a rough world, and he, like everyone else, is fighting to survive," has curbed complaints I wanted to make.  Sister Hinckley's example gently reminds me that life is easy for no one, and that men need to be appreciated and supported.  A provider and protector's role is not a path of roses.

Sister Hinckley was right.

“We are all in this together. We need each other. Oh, how we need each other. Those of us who are old need you who are young. And, hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old. It is a sociological fact that women need women. We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other.”

Marjorie Hinckley never knew of her influence on my life even though it has been significant. Perhaps that is her parting lesson -- you may never know of your impact on another so be gentle and pure, and live so that your quiet example is a blessing to others, because we need each other.  Oh, how we need each other.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

What a great post about an amazing lady. I loved reading this.