Mabel Blackburn’s notes concerning friendship

I found two small pieces of paper with my Grandmother’s handwriting.

Nanny was making a speech about seniors clubs. A member of Picton Senior Citizens Club she enjoyed much fun with many friends. Perhaps some readers will remember Mabel Blackburn. Nanny died Sept. 14, 1998 just 3 days short of her 90th birthday.

While coping with many illnesses she approached each day with enthusiasm and a wonderful outlook, living life to the fullest.

A gatherer of friends, she made them wherever she went. Where she found these words about friendship is unknown. I searched on Google and found parts of sentences that could be attributable to several writers. It seems Nanny took these fragments and wove them into the opening of her speech.

Here’s what she wrote on those two small sheets of paper: “I’m not a speaker, but hope you will bear with me and I’ll try to give a little of what the seniors do. But first I would like to say a few words about friends.

First we have to have friends. Friends, like all good things in life, can be had by anyone who wants them. There is only one simple rule to follow. It is this. To have a friend, be one yourself. Helping someone else is the secret to happiness. There is no more wonderful possession than a friend. Friends are worth so much, though we are always making new, never trade them for the old. There are many things that go into the make up of friendship.

One is truth, understanding, wisdom, knowing what to do next. Still, how to do it.

Virtue is doing it. A good deed is never lost. He who sows courtesy reaps friendship. He who plants kindness gathers love. Love is like a song unsung but felt within the heart. Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things.

Smiles and kindness and small obligations given habitually preserve the heart and secures the comfort. A word of comfort makes a friend more happy. What sunshine is to a flower, smiles are to humanity. They are but trifles to be sure but scattered along life’s pathways the good things they do is inconceivable. We cannot change yesterday, that is quite clear. Nor begin on tomorrow until it is here.

So all that is left for you and for me, is to make today as sweet as can be. Now, about our seniors…”

The rest of the pages of the speech are missing.

-Debbie MacDonald Moynes