BY-WAYS - 1/1/41 - That Was Yesterday. Today is Christmas.

There is so much to say that I don't know where to begin. I'm not through with charming Mrs. Harriman, minister to Norway. But she must have another column, all to herself. In two and a half weeks in a hospital you gather enough material for a book. Nurses, interns, surgeons, pastors, priest, nuns, kind visitors, the charming elderly woman with the broken hip, the man with two broken ankles who radiates more cheer and love of God and man in ten minutes than most mortals give out in ten weeks. Magic in a hospital: you pull a little black cord, and in floats an angel in white. She's a terribly practical angel, who takes care of all your earthly needs. But she's an angel, nevertheless. Those little student nurses; not one rude, cross, impatient, lazy girl in the lot. There was my old friend, Ruby, the pretty colored girl - charwoman de luxe - who has kept my Mother's Day poem in her scrap-book. There was the pretty blonde graduate nurse, whose laughter is like a babbling fountain. She gets her diamond ring today!. There was the shy, awkward little country girl, who gives the best back rubs in Cleveland. There was the 31-year-old nurse, with blue-gray eyes, who was born in northern Italy, who is the most ardent American patriot you could wish for. She is in the first reserve corps of the American Red Cross, and expects to go to Manila, or wherever she is needed, in the early spring. Lucky are the boys who get her nursing care. I made the fatal error of teasing her in front of the wrong doctor. Those big blue-gray eyes became points of steel; devastating was the wrath she poured out on me afterward. But she finally forgave me; and on my last night there she honored me by asking for all the magazines I could spare (which was all of them) to give to patients who had to spend Christmas in the hospital. Then, just before she went off duty at 11 p.m., she slipped in to "buy" some of my left-over Christmas cards that I couldn't get written. A lonely old man wanted to reach some of his pals. Yes, Miss Brivio will take good care of our boys, wherever she is sent. I had a very attractive and congenial room-mate, a Catholic convert, who has acquired husband, a year-old daughter, gall-stones, and an operation - all before she is 21. She has marvelous good sense for one so young. She was the drawing-card, I think, that brought so many on the hospital staff to our room. So we never lacked for attention - nor for interesting life stories. I could go on and on - but next week brings the New Year, and I would like to leave a thought with you that has helped me a great deal.
Though I have attended but one big varsity football game, I used to read the sports pages with great interest - a hang-over, I guess, from Indiana Normal days, when we used to stand out on the sidelines of the football field (no grandstand, or even bleachers, then) and shout ourselves hoarse. We would sing, with supreme confidence, "Normal will shine tonight, Normal will shine," etc. and: "Kiski won't shine tonight, Kiski won't shine..." Kiski did shine 90% of the time, but each time was to be the last.

The two great Cleveland colleges, Western Reserve U. and Case School of Applied Science, have been bitter rivals for years and years - on the football field, with the Reserve Red Cats winning 90% of the time. On this particular occasion, after a lot of ballyhoo from Case, she received a shocking defeat at the hands of Reserve. The next day the two great presidents, Dr. Charles E. Wickenden of Case and Dr. Vinson of Reserve met on the platform at a great civic affair - to promote the Cleveland Community Fund. Dr. Vinson twitted Dr. Wickenden about appearing in public after yesterday's embarrassing football score. Dr. Wickenden serenely replied, "That was yesterday." And that was all he said - in reference to the game. No excuses, no explaining, no post mortems. The defeat, the humiliation belonged to "yesterday." We can take a lesson from this great man, Dr. Charles E. Wickenden, who has grown in mental, moral and spiritual statue, year by year. He knew, all along, that you can't take man's measure by how well he can play football. But to leave the mistakes - the errors - of yesterday with yesterday - what a great step toward success!

Did you make terrible mistakes in your child-training, as I did? Take your job too seriously, and rob the children of their childish laughter? Well, that was yesterday. You can't go back, and live the years over again. So start right from here - and be strong and gay - and let them know you're terribly proud of the worthwhile things they do. Has your husband philandered a little? (Mine hasn't, thank the Lord). I used to think that was one thing a wife could never forgive. But I've changed my mind. We all have our human frailties. When there is complete repentance and change of conduct, there should be complete forgiveness. There are countless characters in Biblical history alone, whose yesterdays had to be forgiven and forgotten before they became immortals. Jacob, a cheat and a schemer, became Israel - "soldier of God." Moses, the violent-tempered young man, who committed murder, became Moses the Meek, who patiently waited upon God's law and with infinite patience led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through 40 years of rebellion and mutiny, right to the door of the promised land. King David, who sinned with the beautiful Bathsheba, sent her husband, Uriah, the Hittite, to the front of the battle, so that he died. Many and cruel were the crimes he committed. Yet he became the "sweet singer of Israel," whose psalms are immortal. Peter, who declared again and again his love for the Master, denied Him in His hour of need. But that hour of weakness became a yesterday. And Peter finally lived up to his name, "The Rock," upon which Christ's church was built. Saul, who sanctioned the stoning of Christians by holding the coats of the cruel executioners, became "Paul," the greatest apostle of them all - the greatest ambassador for Jesus Christ.
I'm afraid the column is more than filled. But may I leave this thought with you: Let's leave all our mistakes behind with the departure of 1941; bury the bad yesterday; keep all our nerve energy, our mental, moral, spiritual forces for building glorious todays and tomorrows. A fine, forward-looking New Year to you all.

Florence B. Taylor.

Next -1/2/41 - A Daughter's sacrifice