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Gay Howard, Los Osos CA, USA (English)

My name is Gay Howard, and I am an 84 year old  woman. I’m divorced and I have four children. I live by myself in Los Osos, California, where we have a rainy season and a dry season, lots of fog in the dry season, and moderate temperatures year round. One of my children lives near me and my other three children live far away. One moves back and forth between Belgium and Brazil, one lives in Kansas City, and another lives in Colorado. A lot of my time goes into my Friends Meeting and my work as clerk of Friends Peace Teams. I also do yoga, take walks, do household chores, visit with friends, and go to my book club.

Both the work for FPT and the work for my Meeting is because of my faith and my conscience. What I am called to do right now is go to our Yearly Meeting every year and represent FPT there. I am constantly working on my interactions with other people to see how I can make them better; and I’m observing other people ‘s actions to understand how they work, their motivations.

I do quite a lot of work on the book club and I think that is helpful to my community. My meeting does things that are helpful to the community too. I value honesty in my friends, and kindness is an important characteristic. My friends need to be interesting in some way, a wide variety of ways, but interesting in some way. Also in order for the friendship to work we need to like each other and like to do similar things.

Certainly the work I do for my faith and my conscience gives my life meaning and makes me feel hopeful. Just noticing what goes on in my life and how the problems in my life are solved, makes me feel hopeful. And it gives meaning to my life. In my old age, I have new thoughts on what the meaning was of former events and attitudes of people I knew throughout my life.


2012 December