I realize that I may sound boastful, but this is not my intention in saying that today, for Mother's Day, I granted 3 wishes for my Mother. The first wish was to accompany her to mass. My mother converted to Catholicism about 59 years ago when she married my father. Since then, she has been a devout Catholic and an avid church goer. As a mother of 7 children, she would line us all up on an old wooden bench in our Sunday best. She was always active in the church and by going with her to mass today, I honoured her faith in return for the gift of faith that she has passed on to me. The second wish was to take her out for breakfast. My mother and a couple of church friends look forward to our Sunday breakfast, usually at a local greasy spoon, as does my dog Massie who waits in the car eagerly anticipating a few table scraps. Today we were turned away from one of our favorite spots due to an over abundance of Mother's Day diners, but we ended up at another nice spot on the south shore of Rice Lake in Harwood, called Buck's. The third wish was to visit Father Hood's mother May at her new home; a nursing home in Cobourg, where she moved on Friday. Mother Hood is a wonderful graceful woman with a sharp mind and a quick wit. Before the group of 12 parishioners (see Jim's Blog, April 21, 2009 "Never Assume") focused their attacks on me, they accused Father Hood (among other things) of putting the parish at great risk by having his 92 year old mother live with him in the rectory. Hard to imagine. Mother Hood has settled into her new home with an positive outlook and an optimistic spirit. She is by far one of the liveliest ones in the place, and was so very appreciative of our visit. Twenty years ago, my dad's mom lived in this same nursing home from what I remember, she was well taken care of. I once went to visit my grandfather at a nursing home in Toronto. He was a little slow getting around, so I held the elevator door for him. I felt badly that I might be holding up some of the residents who shuffled into the car ahead of him, so I made some kind of an apology, to which one woman replied, "Don't worry, time is all that I have left". Growing old, especially in an institutional setting, must seem like the rough end of a long road. As a society, it seems to me we should be make a better effort to care for our loved ones in the twilight of their lives in the same way that they cared for us when we were helpless - in our homes, and in our arms. May God bless all the mothers in the world, for where would we be without them? Pictured above is a painting by artist Paul Murray entitled "Aunt Emily", a copy of which hangs over the front desk at Ste. Anne's Spa, meant as a gentle reminder that patience truly is a virtue. I love you mom.