Talk at the UU Fellowship: Mother-Love

I got to be the speaker at the local Unitarian-Universalist church today (via Zoom) – and, as always, I had such fun with the fellowship there. There will be an audio link to the talk in a few days, but in the meantime here’s the speech as I had it written out (of course, I sometimes deviated from the script in the actual talk). 🙂

Originally, I was going to talk today about the adventures I had with my centenarian father in the last few years of his life. But when my husband mentioned that May 9th was Mother’s Day I was, like, OH!!!! YEAH!!! THAT’s what my talk is supposed to be about!!! It’s supposed to be about MOTHER-Love! So that’s where I’m going to go today. I’m going to go to that place of Mother-Love.

As some of you know, I was raised in Christian Science by my own mom, so Christian Science is the way of life I’m most familiar with. In the textbook for Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy has this to say about Mother-Love:

“Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation.

A mother’s affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal.”

Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.

Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God…

“In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity.”

Mother-Love isn’t flimsy and fragile. Mother-Love is unconditional, enduring, wise, just, brave, and fun.

My own mother was a wonderful expression of Mother-Love
When I was a little girl I’d play outside all day in the summers, and when I finally came in at the end of the day, my legs would be aching from all my playing. Mom would sit on the side of my bed and gently massage my legs and sing hymns from the Christian Science Hymnal.  There’s one song, in particular, I associate with Mom during these times. I’m going to sing a little now, and as I sing I’m going to imagine my mom singing this to me. Maybe you can imagine your own mothers singing to you. The words to this song are by Frances A. Fox:
“In Thee I have no pain or sorrow
No anxious thought, no load of care. 
Thou art the same today, tomorrow;
Thy love and truth are everywhere.” 

I remember this feeling of being surrounded in a warm, light-filled bubble of Love, and the pain in my legs melting away. Moz taught me the power of Love to heal.

Moz was wise: I remember coming home from school in the first grade, telling Moz about my cranky teacher – she didn’t seem to like her students much. Mom’s response was, “Well, we just need to love the hell right out of her!” Mom didn’t commiserate with me, didn’t call up the school and complain about this teacher – instead she used this opportunity to teach me a life-long lesson about the power of love. I started my Campaign of Love the very next day, bringing in hand-picked flowers for my teacher, and leaving little notes of love on her desk. And by the time she met with my mom for conferences, she told my mom how very much she enjoyed me, and how much my kindness had meant to her. That’s when we learned that my teacher’s son and husband had recently died, and she had been going through some rough times. I’m so glad my mom told me to love my teacher. We never know what’s going on in other people’s lives.

Moz was a warrior for justice. I remember her shaking with indignation when I was a little girl and we encountered a racist at the Sears store. The man had nodded his head towards a Black family and said, loud enough so they could hear, that they should be shopping in their own store. When Moz understood what he was saying she was furious – “They have as much right to be here as you or me!” she told him, trembling with rage. The man had seemed to think Mom would be his ally, and seemed surprised this little 5’1″ woman was standing up to him. He got all red in the face and scurried away. That was a moment I will never forget – it had a huge impact on me. I remember feeling very proud to be Moz’s daughter. She showed me how to stand up to bullies. Last year when I attended the local Black Lives Matter rally, I could feel Mom with me. I think she was proud of me.

This picture of my mom, wearing her Obama cap, always puts a grin on my face.

Moz was brave. In my twenties I was always going off on adventures by myself – hiking and traveling. And, now that I’m a mother of adventurous children myself, I can recognize the courage my mom showed during this time. She never tried to stop me from going on my adventures – even though I knew she worried. She showed the purest kind of love a mother can show by letting me go and live my life and understanding that it WAS my life to live. I think she must have come to realize, as I have come to realize, too, that our children own their own life experiences and it’s none of our business where Love chooses to lead them when they become grown-ups.

Moz knew how to laugh. A couple months before Mom died (although I didn’t realize at the time how close to the end she was), she asked to go to the dentist to get her teeth cleaned. So I brought her into my dentist. And, of course, she had all these forms to fill out. By the time I handed her the last form, she was totally exasperated. “Another one?” she asked. I told her to behave herself, and she said, “Don’t make me laugh – I’m trying to sign this thing.” She finished signing the paper and handed it back to me. “You know,” she said, “I’ll get all these papers signed, and then next week I’ll die.”

Missy, the dental lady came out to get her then, and Moz got up to follow her with her walker. “Watch out,” she said, “I don’t have a license for this thing.” Missy started cracking up.

Missy got Moz situated in the dental chair, and turned the light on to start working on her teeth. Moz told her to feel free to pluck any chin hairs she found. Missy started laughing. She handed Moz a glass of water to rinse. She asked Moz how she was doing. Moz told her, “I’m full of it.” Missy grinned, and asked, “You’re full of it?” Moz said, “Water, that is.” And Missy cracked up.

Then Hansrolf came in. Hansrolf is my favoritest dentist, ever. He’s like a stand-up comic. He and Moz immediately took to each other. Moz told him she came here for the entertainment. She told Hansrolf he should give Missy a raise. Hansrolf said what he needed to do was get all of us out of there – he was out-numbered and we were ganging up on him. Moz responded with some smartassery, and then noted, “I probably shouldn’t have said that, eh?” And Hansrolf said, “Not just before I start working on your teeth, no.” Moz started cracking up.

There was another day, near the end of her life, when I had a lot of errands to run with Moz – doctor’s appointment, supermarket, veterinarian’s. And we were sitting at the doctor’s office and Moz told the nurse, “We have a lot of appointments today. See? I wore my serious clothes.”

To which I replied, “Your shoes belie that.”

To which she replied, “I don’t have any serious shoes.”

Moz was a life-long learner. She had a thirst for learning and was an avid reader. One of her favorite authors was Carl Sagan – Moz loved learning about the cosmos. She also was a huge fan of Neil DeGrasse Tyson and actually got to meet him one time, with her dear friend, Jolene Unsoeld.

Moz Molenaar, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jolene Unsoeld

Moz had her own adventures. My dad was well-known in mountaineering – he’d climbed on some of the highest mountains in the world. But what most people don’t know is that Mom had her share of adventures, too. When she was four years old she contacted rheumatic fever, and her doctors told her family that Mom should lead a quiet, peaceful life. She did not do this. She climbed Mount Rainier twice, accompanied Dad on hikes all over the Pacific Northwest – on their honeymoon she’d climbed this humongous straight-up spire with him that looked like it was some made-up thing from a Hollywood set. Here’s a picture of her climbing over a fence to get to the spire…

A year or two after Mom died, Scott grabbed an old ice axe from the garage to take on a hike with us. We both assumed it was one of Dad’s old ice axes, but when we got up to the trailhead, we realized it was actually one of Mom’s old ice axes! It felt good to be taking her along on the hike with us.

Mother-love doesn’t die. In February 2017 I found myself in a position that seemed impossible. Moz was in the hospital with congestive heart failure, and Dad soon joined her there with a UTI. They were on different floors, both struggling to stay alive. I’d visit one and then the other and then go home, on high alert, and wait for the phone to ring announcing some new crisis.

Just before Moz was going to be released from the hospital, I learned that her assisted living place wasn’t going to accept her back into her home because of her medical issues. This meant I had two days to find a new home for Moz and Dad. In a panic, I started calling other assisted living places, but soon realized the cost of care my parents were going to need would clean out their savings in a couple months. I thought of getting into my retirement savings, but that wouldn’t last too long, either. And I really didn’t want to send my parents to some strange, unfamiliar place, anyway. I prayed – and, by this, I don’t mean that I begged and pleaded to some old guy sitting in the clouds to fix everything – I mean that I reached my thoughts out to Love and listened for guidance. The message that came to me from Love was that I needed to bring my parents into my own home and care for them myself. Scotty agreed to this plan and agreed to help. (I married an incredible man.)

I was still teaching full-time then – so this would be tricky. But it felt right to me to do this.

Hospice got in touch with me – bless them! – and when Moz was brought to our home by ambulance, a hospice nurse came over and showed Scott and I how to care for her.

We spent the whole day telling each other how much we loved each other. Moz was scared. She knew she was dying. She asked me what was going to happen – if we’d ever see each other again. And I told her that nothing could separate us from the love we have for each other – ” For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from Love.” (Romans 8) Mom’s eyes lit up with hope and she nodded her head in affirmation. She felt the truth of those words. Moz went to sleep soon after this, and in the early hours of the morning, while I slept on the couch next to her hospital bed, I felt myself brushed by joy and peace and love. I opened my eyes and it was very quiet and peaceful. I couldn’t hear Mom struggling to breathe, and I thought that was good – she didn’t need any medication. I started to close my eyes, and then I realized. I checked on Mom and she had passed on. But I could still feel her presence in the room with me. The room was full of joy and peace and love. I knew Mom was alright then.

I’m so glad Love had guided me into bringing Mom into our home for that last day.

So now I had to find a home for Dad – I’d promised Moz that she didn’t need to worry about him – that we’d make sure he was alright. Originally the plan had been to bring Dad into our home where he could be with Mom – but, now that she was gone, our home wouldn’t be the right place for him. The social worker asked us if we’d ever looked into adult family homes, and gave us a booklet with names and phone numbers.

When I got home from the hospital after my visit with Dad and the social worker, I went for a walk – at this point I was completely emotionally and mentally stretched – feeling out of my depth and scared about the future – and I needed to find some peace for myself. I prayed again – brought my thoughts close to Love – and suddenly I was filled with joy and hope – and a rainbow arched across the sky! I felt Moz there with me, reassuring me, telling me everything was going to be alright. I began making phone calls to adult family homes – and on the second call I felt I’d found the right place. My brother and I went over to check it out – there were bird feeders in the front yard, and cats and dogs – and I knew the woman who answered the door would have been someone Moz would have felt an instant kinship with. AND the cost of care for Dad would fit his budget!

I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. We had found Dad’s new home – a place I didn’t even know existed a day before!

We just never know. NOTHING is impossible to Mother-Love. NOTHING.

Not long after Moz and Dad moved to the Skagit Valley I gave my second talk at the U-U church. My husband and I brought my mom and dad with us this time –I wanted them to meet their new neighbors at the Skagit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship – I knew they’d be made to feel welcome and at home. And sure enough! – as soon as we entered the doors to the hall we were met by friendly hand-shaking people and surrounded by cheery laughter and smiles.

Being herself an expert at loving-kindness, Mom immediately recognized the love she felt there, and said that when she died she wouldn’t mind having her memorial service at the U-U Hall – the way she said this wasn’t maudlin or anything – she said it in the matter-of-fact way that a woman who was almost 89 would say it.

Within a year Moz had passed, and I remembered what she’d said about wanting her memorial service to be held at the U-U Hall, and that’s what we did for her. It was a joyful, beautiful, music-filled celebration. She was exactly right. The U-U Hall was the perfect place to celebrate her life.

On the day of Moz’s memorial service something really wonderful happened. I was waiting for my friend, Teresa, at the Fred Meyer eating area – Teresa was going to help me figure out what I needed to buy for the memorial celebration.

Pretty soon this man came in with a backpack and all kinds of bags hanging out of his pockets and out of his pack. I saw him trying to organize all his bags and was kind of intrigued by him.

Teresa came in then and started chatting with some new friends I’d met while I was waiting for her.  I left them for a moment to go to talk to the man with all the bags. I asked him if I could buy him a coffee at the Starbucks – and he asked me if I could maybe buy him a couple gift cards so he could buy food later. So I found the gift card rack and he picked out a Kroger’s card for food, and a Starbucks card, and I went back to the cashier to buy them for him.

The backpack man thanked me for the cards – he said he’d been having a really negative attitude about people up until then, and I’d made him feel better about life. Teresa joined us then and said, “Do you want to know why she bought you those cards today? Her mom died and today is the celebration for her mom, and she’s buying you those cards in honor of her mom who was the most loving person in the world.” And as Teresa told him this, I realized that it was true. Moz had taught me to watch out for people, and to do what I could to help. And the idea of that brought sweet tears to my eyes.

Mother-Love isn’t limited to one gender – every she, he, and they can share Mother-love. And it’s not just something we give to our own children. Mother-Love is available for all of us to share with all of the children of the universe.

There’s a song by Tracy Spring, a wonderful musician and friend and a member of the Bellingham UU Church, that’s been a great comfort to me in the passing of my parents. Like me, Tracy had been with her Mom when she passed, and this song is about her mom’s passing. It resonates with me. It’s called “Remember” and I’d like to share it with you now.

My son was traveling through Europe at the beginning of the pandemic last year, and borders were closing down around him, places to buy food and take shelter were closing down – and I was terrified. I remember watching the news one night with my husband, and I just couldn’t take any more. I got in my car and drove to a place where I could see Mount Baker and I prayed. Words from “Mother’s Evening Prayer” by Mary Baker Eddy came to me. The first verse, especially, gave me comfort:
.
“O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,
Thou Love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight!
Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight.”
Christian Science Hymnal #207, Mary Baker Eddy

I really like the idea that Love, God, owns even the waiting hours. Love owns even the in-between hours – the hours when we’re waiting for the phone to ring to tell us everything’s alright; and the plane to land with our loved ones; and the quarantine to end. Love owns even THOSE hours.

Sally found a rendition of “Mother’s Evening Prayer” on Youtube, performed by my friend, Lisa Redfern. Lisa wrote the tune for her own mother – it’s called “Sandra’s Melody. (The CD for this song can be found at lisaredfern.com.) Here’s Mother’s Evening Prayer performed by Lisa – I’d like to ask you to join me in singing this hymn.

I’d like to close my part of the service with a song performed by my mom. Here’s “Tomorrow is a Lovely Day” by Colleen “Moz” Molenaar.

Thank you for letting me join you here today! It’s always a pleasure!

Mother’s Day at the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship

I’ll be speaking to the Skagit Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship on Mother’s Day via Zoom at 10:30. This will be the third time I’ve had the opportunity to be the speaker there – and it’s always such a joy for me! It’s like being in a comedy club. The SUUF folks know how to laugh.

Here’s the announcement in their newsletter:
A Love Story for Mother’s Day
Karen Molenaar Terrell returns to SUUF to share some of the memories and stories from a love-filled life with her mother, Colleen “Mozzy” Molenaar, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 89. As a visitor to SUUF that year, Colleen was so impressed with our church that she immediately declared that it was where she wanted her final memorial to be held… and it was, just months later. Her grandson, Casey, described her as “… a giving and goofy woman.” Today we’ll hear from Karen about this, her “great taste in shoes” and much more.

Moz and Einstein.

“I don’t have a license for this thing.”

In celebration of Mother’s Day, here is one of my favorite Moz stories (from October, 2016):
Took Moz (88 years, 10 months) to the dentist this afternoon, and ohmygawd – it was like going to a comedy club! We’re filling out all the forms in the waiting area, and Moz has to put her signature on another one. “Again?!” she asks, exasperated. Laughing, I tell her to behave herself, and she says, “Don’t make me laugh – I’m trying to sign this thing.” She finishes signing the paper and hands it back to me. “You know,” she says, “I’ll get all these papers signed, and then next week I’ll die.”

Missy, the dental lady comes out to get her, and Moz gets up to follow her with her walker. “Watch out,” she says, “I don’t have a license for this thing.” Missy starts cracking up.

Missy gets Moz situated in the dental chair, and turns the light on to start working on her teeth. Moz tells her to feel free to pluck any chin hairs she finds. Missy starts laughing. She hands Moz a glass of water to rinse. She asks Moz how she’s doing. Moz tells her, “I’m full of it.” Missy grins, and asks, “You’re full of it?” Moz says, “Water, that is.” And Missy cracks up.

Missy and Moz find out they were born three days apart at the end of December. “When you’re born at the end of the year, everyone always makes you a year older than you are,” Moz complains. And Missy adds, “Merry Christmas and happy birthday!” Then they discover they’re both left-handed, too!

Then Hansrolf comes in. Hansrolf is my favoritest dentist, ever. He’s like a stand-up comic. He and Moz immediately take to each other. Moz tells him she came here for the entertainment. She tells Hansrolf he should give Missy a raise. Hansrolf says what he needs to do is get all of us out of there – he is out-numbered and we are ganging up on him. Moz responds with some smartassery, and then she notes, “I probably shouldn’t have said that, eh?” And Hansrolf says, “Not just before I start working on your teeth, no.” Moz is still embarrassed about her chin hairs, and Hansrolf grins and says, “Don’t worry about any chin hairs. We’ll just work around them if we find any.”

They end by telling each other Norwegian jokes. Here’s Moz’s: “Ole says his wife is an angel. Sven tells Ole, ‘You’re lucky. My wife hasn’t died, yet.’” Hansrolf laughs so hard he almost falls off his chair. 🙂

(Here’s a photo from Moz on her honeymoon. She and Dad were about to climb a formidable spire somewhere in Colorado.)

 

young moz

Memories of Moz this Mother’s Day

Quote

(Originally published on Mother’s Day, 2018.)
I’m missing Moz this Mother’s Day. I wish she was here with me so we could watch The Music Man together and laugh at the Shipoopi song. I wish I could hear her talk about her father one more time, and sing the Christopher Robin song with her. I imagine taking her out to my hobbit hole of a secret garden and listening to the birds singing with her. I imagine sitting out on the back deck in the sun with her and talking about family and friends and politics.

When I’d driven her home from the hospital a month before she’d passed she’d smacked her lips together and said, “I want some cream cheese dip and potato chips.” I wish I could give that to her one more time.

I can’t do any of those things with Moz right now – but here’s what I’ve got: I’ve got memories of laughing together, singing together, talking together; I’ve got the lessons she taught me – be kind to everyone; “love the hell” out of the crabby people; treat all of God’s creation with care and respect; be generous; play fair; speak up for the little guy; keep learning; be able to laugh at yourself; be brave; be honorable; have some awesome adventures. I carry Moz’s love with me.

Here’s wishing mothers everywhere a most magnificent Mother’s Day.

***

So last year in honor of Moz I sent a bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers to a friend who had been very dear to Moz. This year it came to me that I needed to honor Moz by bringing a Starbucks gift card to one of my heroes: The bank manager at Moz and Dad’s bank who had been so kind and helpful and amazing to my parents and I as we’ve negotiated moves and death and inheritance and safety deposit boxes in the last couples years. I seriously do not know what we would have done without Laura in our corner.

When I got to the bank Laura recognized me right away and gave me a big hug and I handed her the card. She told me to come back into her office when I was done with the banking stuff I had to do. When I joined her at her desk she told me that on Wednesdays in Anacortes the schools always start late and so she and other moms have taken to meeting at Starbucks with their youngsters for breakfast. And last Wednesday, Laura told me, she brought chalk to Starbucks for the kids to color the sidewalks. Then she got out her phone and showed me how the youngsters had “bedazzled ” the sidewalks in front of Starbucks. People heard about it and came to look at their sidewalk gallery. If the weather is nice next Wednesday, she’s going to bring sidewalk chalk to Starbucks again. And she’ll have my Starbucks card to get herself something to drink. 🙂

I think Moz would be happy about the Starbucks card – I can imagine her smiling.

via Memories of Moz this Mother’s Day

Memories of Moz this Mother’s Day

“Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.” 
– Mary Baker Eddy

I’m missing Moz this Mother’s Day. I wish she was here with me so we could watch The Music Man together and laugh at the Shipoopi song. I wish I could hear her talk about her father one more time, and sing the Christopher Robin song with her. I imagine taking her out to my hobbit hole of a secret garden and listening to the birds singing with her. I imagine sitting out on the back deck in the sun with her and talking about family and friends and politics.

When I’d driven her home from the hospital a month before she’d passed she’d smacked her lips together and said, “I want some cream cheese dip and potato chips.” I wish I could give that to her one more time.

I can’t do any of those things with Moz right now – but here’s what I’ve got: I’ve got memories of laughing together, singing together, talking together; I’ve got the lessons she taught me – be kind to everyone; “love the hell” out of the crabby people; treat all of God’s creation with care and respect; be generous; play fair; speak up for the little guy; keep learning; be able to laugh at yourself; be brave; be honorable; have some awesome adventures. I carry Moz’s love with me.

Here’s wishing mothers everywhere a most magnificent Mother’s Day.

***

So last year in honor of Moz I sent a bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers to a friend who had been very dear to Moz. This year it came to me that I needed to honor Moz by bringing a Starbucks gift card to one of my heroes: The bank manager at Moz and Dad’s bank who had been so kind and helpful and amazing to my parents and I as we’ve negotiated moves and death and inheritance and safety deposit boxes in the last couples years. I seriously do not know what we would have done without Laura in our corner.

When I got to the bank Laura recognized me right away and gave me a big hug and I handed her the card. She told me to come back into her office when I was done with the banking stuff I had to do. When I joined her at her desk she told me that on Wednesdays in Anacortes the schools always start late and so she and other moms have taken to meeting at Starbucks with their youngsters for breakfast. And last Wednesday, Laura told me, she brought chalk to Starbucks for the kids to color the sidewalks. Then she got out her phone and showed me how the youngsters had “bedazzled ” the sidewalks in front of Starbucks. People heard about it and came to look at their sidewalk gallery. If the weather is nice next Wednesday, she’s going to bring sidewalk chalk to Starbucks again. And she’ll have my Starbucks card to get herself something to drink. 🙂

I think Moz would be happy about the Starbucks card – I can imagine her smiling.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Moz

 

Flowers for Our Friend

The flower place I use every year to send flowers to Moz on Mother’s Day emailed me to let me know about the special deals it has right now. I let my friends know about this. They know my mom passed away at the end of February, and I figured they’d know what that email notification from the flower place meant to me. Several of my friends suggested I think of someone else to send flowers to this year. I really liked the idea of that a lot.

So today my friend, Laurie – a woman my mom loved dearly – received Mother’s Day flowers. In my mind Laurie received those flowers from both Moz and me. I imagine Moz smiling. I know she would have really been tickled by Laurie getting those flowers.

flowers 2

Flower Doodle by Karen Molenaar Terrell

“The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“A Mother’s affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

        “MOTHER. God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

Instructions to a First-Time Mom: Just Love Her

My mother tells me that when I was born and she held me in her arms for the first time, the weight of the responsibility of raising and caring for me suddenly filled her with great fear. She was so afraid she’d mess it all up somehow.

She looked up at the doctor and shared her fears with him. The doctor smiled at her sweet face and said, “Love her. Just love her.”

This was something my mom knew how to do – and do really well.

My brothers and I may not have had the most conventional up-bringing – but none of us could have asked for a mother with more love in her heart.  We grew up witnesses to how she expressed love to others –  seeing her voice her protest for those who were being treated unfairly, watching her take in stray animals and make them part of the family, seeing how a room would light up as soon as she entered it and smiled her love on everyone. And the love she expressed wasn’t some feigned thing, either. It came from deep inside her – true and pure. She truly loved mankind and all God’s creatures – and we saw this, and incorporated her example into our own sense of how to live a decent and moral life.

As I think back on my younger years, there’s one moment that stands out for me. I think I must have been in my early twenties, and there was some sadness about a break-up with a boyfriend or something – dashed hopes of some kind – I can’t remember the specifics now – but I was feeling lost and alone – not sure what direction I was supposed to take in my life. I was home visiting Mom and Dad, and had gone out into the backyard to look up at the stars and pray. Mom must have known I was out there, and came and stood beside me. I shared my sadness with her then – I think I shared how I was feeling like a “surplus” person – like there seemed to be no place for me. My mom reached over to one of her rose bushes and gently plucked a rose from it and handed it to me. She looked into my eyes and said, “This is you. I see you unfolding into a most beautiful rose.” And then she went back into the house.

Wow. Those simple words, spoken with perfect love, totally reversed my thoughts about myself and my circumstances. Mom loved me. Mom thought I was unfolding like a beautiful rose. How cool is that?!

I’m grateful to say that Mom is still with us here, still loving her fellow creatures, and still an example to us all of how to live a “good” life, and how to be  the best kind of mother.

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings…” – Deuteronomy 32: 11

A mother’s affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal. Therefore maternal affection lives on under whatever difficulties.” – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

(Originally posted in November, 2012)

Happy Mother’s Day to Nurturers and Reflections of Love Everywhere!

“… when I came home from school, and told Moz that I didn’t think my first grade teacher liked me so much and that she was a crabby old lady, Mom’s response was, “Well, Sweetie, we just need to love the hell right out of her then.” Moz didn’t commiserate with me, didn’t call up the school and complain about this teacher – nope – instead she used this opportunity to teach me a life-long lesson about the power of love. I started my Campaign of Love the very next day,..”

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation. – Mary Baker Eddy

Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality,  the infinite Father-Mother God. – Mary Baker Eddy

I love this video of Mom – it totally captures the essence of who she is – warm, loving, joyful. Here’s Moz, at age 80, singing her unique version of  Mamma Mia:

I couldn’t have been more blest than I’ve been to have this beautiful reflection of motherhood for my mom.

Moz was wise: I remember coming home from school in the first grade, telling Moz about my day. My first grade teacher was not what most people envision when they think of a first grade teacher – she was not sweet-voiced, smiling, or nurturing. She was, to put it starkly, kind of cranky, and didn’t seem…

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Happy Mother’s Day to Nurturers and Reflections of Love Everywhere!

Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation. – Mary Baker Eddy

Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality,  the infinite Father-Mother God. – Mary Baker Eddy

I love this video of Mom – it totally captures the essence of who she is – warm, loving, joyful. Here’s Moz, at age 80, singing her unique version of  Mamma Mia:

I couldn’t have been more blest than I’ve been to have this beautiful reflection of motherhood for my mom.

Moz was wise: I remember coming home from school in the first grade, telling Moz about my day. My first grade teacher was not what most people envision when they think of a first grade teacher – she was not sweet-voiced, smiling, or nurturing. She was, to put it starkly, kind of cranky, and didn’t seem to like her students all that much. What I didn’t know at the time was that my first grade teacher had recently lost her son and husband. She was going through some pretty rough times in her life. Mom didn’t know about any of this, either. But when I came home from school, and told Moz that I didn’t think my first grade teacher liked me so much and that she was a crabby old lady, mom’s response was, “Well, Sweetie, we just need to love the hell right out of her then.” Moz didn’t commiserate with me, didn’t call up the school and complain about this teacher – nope – instead she used this opportunity to teach me a life-long lesson about the power of love. I started my Campaign of Love the very next day,  bringing in hand-picked flowers for my teacher, and leaving little notes of love on her desk. And by the time she met with my mom to conference about my progress in school she told my mom how very much she enjoyed me, and how much my kindness had meant to her.

Moz was our hero: When my little brother was a toddler he’d gotten ahold of some marbles from somewhere and swallowed them. My grandma was there as my little brother started turning blue. She said to Mom: “We’ve lost him!” Mom grabbed my little brother by his ankles, held him upside down and said, “No,” and wacked him on the back, “we,” wacked him on the back again, “HAVEN’T!!!” and four slimy marbles popped onto the floor. My brother took a big gasp of air and turned back to his normal shade of color.

Moz taught us the power that comes with understanding God, Good: When the same little brother was about seven years-old he became very sick. Dad and Mom took him to our family physician who told them that they had a very sick boy – he had mastoiditis. There was a good chance he’d lose his hearing, and he might lose his life.  Surgery would probably need to be scheduled for him. Dad and Mom brought my brother home from the doctor’s office and Mom asked Dad (who was not a Christian Scientist) if she could call a Christian Science practitioner for prayerful support and my dad agreed to this.  I remember lying in bed that night, listening to my little brother screaming in pain in the next room, and my mom comforting him, singing hymns to him. And then – I remember this very clearly – suddenly he was snoring. The healing was that instantaneous. “He’s healed! He’s healed!” my mom called out – the joy in her voice filling our home. And he was, too. The next day the doctor confirmed that my little brother was well. And he never lost his hearing, either.

Moz had been a Music Performance major in college – she had a fantastic voice. She’d been accepted into the Portland opera company when she graduated from college, but she realized that wasn’t the life for her. She wasn’t particularly ambitious when it came to a profession in music.  She wanted to be a mom.  And we got to have her for our mom.  The opera company’s loss was our gain. 🙂

Moz thinks of herself more as a hobbit than an elf – she likes being home, puttering around in the garden, taking care of her cats, llamas,and  goats, and keeping the bird-feeders full for her feathered friends. But make no mistake – if she’s a hobbit, she’s more a “Baggins” kind of hobbit than a regular hobbit. She has had her share of adventures in life. She’s climbed Mount Rainier twice, ran track in college, birthed three children – and all this after she was apparently told as a youngster, following a bout with rheumatic fever, that her heart had been damaged and she should lead a quiet, sheltered life. None of us knew anything about this until last year, when, 80 years after the rheumatic fever, she was told she needed to have open heart surgery.  I talked about that experience in this blog post: https://madcapchristianscientist.com/2012/05/28/the-world-outside-akkima-theresa-and-the-man-in-the-fairy-wings/ . I’m happy to say that now, one year later, Moz has completely recovered from the surgery. Once again she’s puttering around her garden, feeding the birds, singing her songs, sharing her sense of humor and her huge capacity for  love with everyone she meets.

I’m so blest – happy I can still pick up the phone and give her a call and hear her voice. Happy i can still see her and talk with her and be enriched by her wisdom and kindness and humor.

May all who have nurtured and loved and cared for others know how appreciated they are this Mother’s Day. God bless.

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A mother’s affection cannot be weaned from her  child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal. – Mary Baker Eddy

Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man. – Mary Baker Eddy