Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I put in the last post mentioning Harold Abrahams (Not to Be Discouraged)in order to set the stage for this item on my wife's new friend Mavis.
This woman comes from England and was formally qualified as a nanny for aristocratic families. Quite a training process - early childhood education, household management, basic nursing, primary English curriculum, discipline and etiquette.
She is now in her mid-eighties and has marvelous stories to tell from both sides of the Atlantic. For a time she served in the household of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Abrahams as above-mentioned. She became particularly close to the wife (Sybil) who served for years in amateur theatre endeavours. Sewing costumes. Attending premieres.
The film Chariots of Fire (1981) spot-lit Mrs. Abrahams' earlier career in Gilbert and Sullivan productions on the stage.
Mr. Abraham's constant involvement in British amateur sport brought to the family, with Mavis included, many box-seat opportunities at Wimbledon and other events, with the Royal Family just a few rows over.
Mavis lives in Waterloo in a house with a woman friend. Never married, although the suitors were many. Cranky when needed in her appointments. Setting rules for households with the firm hand of an officer in uniform.
For years in this community she was administrator for women's residences at the University. She was also much appreciated in the programs of a Christian retreat facility in ski country near Mansfield, Ontario.
Hilary first met Mavis in a women's Bible study group. Over time she has heard of many adventures in life, in faith, in healing and in relationships from this remarkable woman.
No signs of slowing down. She is one of those saints who suspect that they might live to see Jesus touch the planet once again.
Were you to see Mavis in public, you would remark at a well appointed, alert, elderly woman. The rest might come as a complete surprise.