"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present,
hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow
with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace."
In December of 2013, I started searching the internet for an inspirational quote for my Christmas Card, and happened upon this amazing quote. . . when it was actually credited, it was credited to Agnes Mae Pharo, or A. Pharo or Agnes Pharo. So, I thought it might be nice to actually learn a little about this person and ask permission to use the quote.
What I found was that there was very little information about Agnes Pharo anywhere to be found. No Wikipedia page, no links to publishers, not much of anything except her quote on MANY Christmas Quotes pages- and a snarky remark about her from Columnist Mark Steyn in a piece he wrote about Christians Taking Christ Out Of Christmas- he commented on how an email he received had a holiday image and the poem, "What Is Christmas." Steyn wrote :
Agnes M Pharo."
Well, he ticked me off and I kept searching for more information about her, digging deep and deeper until I found links to a Pharo family out in Colorado, and The Pharo Cattle Company. Digging still deeper in the Colorado Connection, I emailed the Pharo Cattle Company and asked if they had any connection to Agnes M. Pharo. What I received back was wonderful and remarkable. Within a few days I heard from three out of five of Agnes' grandchildren, Brett, Kit and Kathy wrote with very loving words about their Grandmother Agnes and her husband Charles.
Here's a selection from one of Brett's emails:
"I can honestly say that Grandma and Grandpa Pharo taught me as much about the true meaning of love, commitment, service, and marriage as anyone I've ever known. My wife, Deb, and I used to just marvel at the tenderness those two showed each other (especially when they didn't think anyone was watching).
I also received an email from Kit with a link to a Devotional Page he created back in 2008 where he spoke about his Grandmother.
And from Kathy:
Thank you so much for your work in recognizing Grandma. While I don’t think she ever really aspired to be famous and could never have even dreamed of anything like Wikipedia, I think she would be pleased to have her work recognized. Grandma was indeed a prolific writer, and a very accomplished painter and photographer. I’m pretty sure all of her grandkids and several of her great-grandchildren are blessed to have at least one of her paintings
hanging in their house. She was a city girl, but always loved her visits to “the ranch”, where their only son (our father) moved shortly after
his marriage. As our father was an only child, we were blessed to have Grandma and Grandpa all to ourselves. We didn’t ever have to share them
with any other grandchildren. :) But more important than her artistic works were her relationships. She was the ADORED wife of our grandfather, the respected and loved mother of
our father, the loved, appreciated, and inspiring grandmother to we five Pharo kids, and the ever-faithful friend to countless fortunate people.
She was undoubtedly one of the most patient and gentle people I have ever known (we of Pharo blood are not always easy to live with) ;)
The thing I remember most about Grandma is her appreciation for the written word. When I was very young, maybe 9 or 10, she strongly encouraged me to start the habit of writing her letters on a regular basis. She and I remained faithful pen-pals until the day she died. She gave me an appreciation for the legacy of writing. I don’t think she would like today’s methods of communication . . . texting, tweeting, emailing,
etc., where there is nothing to keep and put away then bring back out and re-read. I have a new granddaughter and I hope to be able to pass on
that legacy to her when she is old enough.
I tried to create a Wikipedia page for Agnes, but couldn't link enough documentation to make it pass the Wiki Rules- so they deleted it. Therefore, I've decided to create a web site where hopefully, over the next few months, her family (and I) can share photos, paintings and more memories.
I consider this my Christmas present to Agnes in gratitude for letting me share her words with my friends and family and making my 2013 Christmas Card a very memorable and special one. . . One where I connected with some great people. This page is a work in progress, but at least it's HERE- and anyone else like Mark Steyn who wants to know about "THE AGNES M PHARO?" can come right here and educate themselves.
May all our paths "lead to Peace."