Conchita Hayes

Learning Center Assistant

After being at the Walter Hoving Home six months, guess who I found? . . . me!!!  I had been gone a long time, hidden among schedules, the expectations, the building of so many things.  On most days it was difficult to find myself.  All I really knew about me was what was reflected back.  I was a wife to five husbands, at different times, of course.  I gave great dinner parties, decorated the house for wonderful family events, had dinner on the table every night at 6:00 p.m.  I was the dutiful daughter and mother, food shopper, real estate broker, antique dealer, art world exhibitionist, and photographer.  I could drive a car in three different directions at once to go to ball practice, music lessons, and church.

Those were good years; rewarding and full of great memories.  However, as in Ecclesiastes 2:10, I denied myself nothing my eyes desired.  I refused my heart no pleasure.  My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.  Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind, nothing was gained under the sun.  I celebrate the past for what it was, and I can celebrate the present for all its possibilities.  Today I thank God for the Walter Hoving Home and for giving me pure intent, peace, gentleness, fullness of mercy and good fruit, without partiality and without hypocrisy, and a heart for God.