The Repairer of Neglects
Even persons of most generous dispositions and quick perceptions, in the midst of the unceasing occupations of a family, will often forget a number of those minute details, insignificant in themselves, but the deprivation of which is a real trial to certain temperaments. The details of family life are like the small screws which bind together the different parts of a piece of furniture: withdraw one or two of them, and the piece of furniture loses its shape; it becomes disjointed.
It is thus, also, in a family; its harmony is oftentimes only to be ascribed to the care taken not to neglect one of those trifling nothings of politeness, punctuality, or habit, to all of which we should pay almost as much attention as we give to greater duties.
Doing one’s bit for love: happiness, harmony and emotional security in the family
Each member of a family, especially if he is advanced in years, has his little peculiarities, which render him happy in some way or other.
Perhaps it is a garment made to a special pattern.
Or a newspaper brought at a particular hour.
Or a game played in such a place.
Or a visit expected at some precise moment.
Or the expression of congratulations at a particular hour.
Or a desire scarcely manifested, but often experienced…
Watch all these little things. Take it upon yourself to visit every morning the corners where the members of the family like to find everything that may be useful during the day. Go first to the apartment where they all assemble; remove everything that might displease them; perfect all the arrangements which have been carelessly made.
But do it all without noise, and unostentatiously. Enjoy only the happiness which it affords you. Oh! how God will repay you in heaven.
– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889