[Photo: Miep Gies, one of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank.]
I know that all of us will from time to time take a walk down memory lane. I was surprised doing it today, but it was precipitated by finding an August 1996 Catholic Digest which somehow was saved. Almost 20 years old, I find it to be a gem, and it has brought with it some wonderful stories and remembrances of this time.
Aside from the magazine's content -the month and year were very special to me. On August 15th of each year we Catholics celebrate the feast of the Assumption. It is one of my favorite holy days because on this day we commemorate the day Mary, the Mother of God, had been assumed into heaven -- body and soul by her loving Son, Jesus.
I read in a St. Anthony Messenger magazine that only Jesus and Mary are physically present in heaven. The rest who have died in the state of grace will be re-united with their bodies at the end of the world -when according to Ecclesiastes 3:15:
"What now is has already been, what is to be, already is, and God restores what would otherwise be displaced."
Thank you Christine, wherever you are. You were the one who clued me into this passage some years ago. It has always brought me a great deal of comfort and happiness in visualizing being once again united in end times with not only beloved family members, but with my animal family as well.
Because of the religious significance of this day and my love for Mary, the Mother of God, I chose August 15 as my day of retirement from the City of Cleveland's employ. I had spent 20 years here in basically clerical jobs which I knew were not commensurate either with my abilities or work habits.
So one day I just decided that the work I was doing in this particular department was not being duly appreciated or compensated equitably. And believe it or not, I am not a particularly greedy person, but I believe in fairness and justice, and I was getting neither here. Therefore, I determined that I should make my feelings known in this regard to the commissioner of the department.
I simply told him that if he would not give me the title which befitted the work I was doing and included an increase in my salary that I would retire. Obviously, he didn't think I deserved either- so I retired. On the beautiful Feast of the Assumption which I had chosen as my last day -I shook the dust off my work place, and I left the employ of the City of Cleveland. I am sure that there were and are good people working there, but sadly they had not crossed my path with the exception of one lovely lady who tried to steer me to a better paying position. I had not followed her wise counsel, but still remember her gratefully. And so it goes. And so it went.
I now looked at this August 1996 Catholic Digest on whose cover was a smiling Anne Frank and below her picture the title "The Woman Who Hid Anne Frank." Miep Gies will forever be remembered for offering shelter to Anne Frank and her family. I read the story again with great admiration for her and for Anne and reflected on my supposed "unjust" treatment by the City of Cleveland to me and realized it pales in insignificance to what Anne and her fellow Jews experienced from the Nazis.
I also particularly liked this edition because I had always admired its editor- Richard Reece. I felt he was truly a man of compassion, and I believed he cared for animal creation because of the stories and letters to the editor he allowed to be published. I was deeply saddened when he was replaced -- whether by choice or not. Somehow --probably because of this, I began to lose interest in the Catholic Digest and let my subscription lapse.
One old Catholic Digest and what memories I experienced as a result and I think I will probably find many more as I have only begun to reread this gem from so long ago.