What Price Stardom?

Larry Ray Hafley
Baytown, Texas

Under the headline above, the following excerpts appeared in The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn., July 3 1992, p. C2):

Helen Hayes says her acting career was "something quite wonderful" but wishes she had devoted more time to her husband and two children. "For all the deep satisfaction it gave me, my career was not a good thing for us - or for the children,' she said . . .

Hayes, 91, known as "the first lady of the American theater," recalled one planned tour. Her then young daughter, Mary, said "Mommy I want to go everywhere with you," Hayes recalled. "It's so easy to shut those things out, to race off and get lost in one's own life," she said, "but I knew it was an outcry from that little heart, and it still haunts me."

"My life is spoken of as a great success," she said, "but it's been a long time, and I still feel Charlie and Mary's absence so acutely. They're both with me all the time. I only wish I'd given it more thought before, when it could have made a difference."

Mothers, Are You Listening?

Perhaps there is a lady reading these words who is frustrated by the endless, often thankless, task she has as a wife and mother. If so, let Helen Hayes' sad, touching, rueful words of remorse and regret seep, sink and soak deep into the marrow of your soul. In the words of Solomon, "vanity of vanities, all is vanity." It is truly, a striving after the wind to attempt to grasp the illusive butterfly of "success" as the world defines it. Helen Hayes caught and savored all the good, gold, gleam, glitter and glamor that this life has to offer, and it has become ashes in her mouth ane anguish in her heart.

Would she now trade what she has for what she could have had? "In a heart beat," she would or as she said, "I only wish I had given it more thought before, when it could have made a difference." Contrast that with, "She looketh well to the ways of her household . . .Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously (succeeded - LRH), but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty if vain (just ask Helen Hayes): but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised" (Prov. 31:27-30).

I thank God that I have had such a mother. I thank God that my two sons have had such a mother. There is nothing this world can give, there is no honor it can bestow, that is greater than the position of wife and mother. Again, fi you do not believe the Bible, ask Helen Hayes. All the dirty dishes and diapers that must be tended to cannot extinguish the hallowed glow, the honored fame and the humble love of Mother. Trophies, ribbon, certificates and plaques, all the vestiges of renown on this earth, will eventually pale and perish in the rubbish heap of history, but the wonderful reward of a dear mother shall sing and shine as the brightness of the stars, basking forever and ever in the solace and comfort of our Savior's bosom.

Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 20, p. 609; 21, p. 654
October 15, 1992; November 5, 1992