Mother – the Beginning of Our Story

“My name is Vivian”

It is hard for me to put into words how very grateful I am for my mother. Also hard to say how difficult it is that I cannot just pick up the phone and give her a call to try and express my feelings, because as hard as it would be for me to articulate my thoughts, it would be harder still for her to understand them. The fog of dementia has robbed my mother of most all ability to interact and converse.

That said, I am keenly aware that she is there and I daily offer prayers for her and wish to be able to see her – regardless of whether she is aware of my presence or not. As a storyteller, I am aware that my story is so intricately connected to my mother’s story. I am also aware of how much our collective story is woven tightly with God’s story. God gifted me and my six siblings with a hardworking and loving mother. She is a great sign to me of God’s generosity toward me and her many acts of generous love are a great example of how much God loves us.

In his novel For One More Day Mitch Albom writes:

“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.”

I was deeply moved when I read those words the first time. The stories my mother shared over the years about her childhood, her youth, her meeting dad, her hard working years of childrearing and homemaking, of grand-parenting, of care-giving, of ministering in her church, all of these stories are really the beginning of my story.

Over the years, there have been times I broke my mother’s heart, and there have been times I made her proud. There have been times I made mom weep and times I made her laugh. There have been times I made mom worry and times when I reassured her. My mother has lived many highs and lows in loving her children. She has celebrated all of our highs and has been a comfort to us in our lows. She has celebrated and she has grieved. Mom does not say much nowadays, but trapped in her mind are thousands of stories – most of which are about her children and their children and their children’s children. In that same novel, Albom writes  “I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” While I know this is not true for everyone –  I can say that I rings very true for me.

So If I could sit with her today, even if she were unable to say much to me, or even take in what I might say, I would offer a prayer of thanksgiving for that in her precious story is the beginning of my story – and six others stories.  I love you Mom – Thank you!

11 thoughts on “Mother – the Beginning of Our Story

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  1. WOW!!! Your Mom sounds amazing and so very like many of those wonderful Maritime Mothers including my own – they loved and lived and worked so very hard for their families and their communities. God Love Mothers! Connie Schritt (Katherine Keeling’s Sister, Selkirk, MB)

  2. Hi Kevin: What a very lovely tribute to your Mother. Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. It rings true for so many of us. You filled my eyes with tears………….Love Ya Bettie XXOO

  3. Hi Kevin, I lost my mother 65 years ago when I was 18 years old. I was the youngest of eight in my family and am now the only one left. I am thankful to have lots of nieces and nephews, most of whom are Down East in Nova Scotia. How well I know how you miss not seeing your mother. She is a wonderful lady and it was a joy to meet and talk with her and your Dad. Your tribute to her was beautiful. Hope you get to see her soon and spend time with her and your family. Blessings to you and Catherineanne.
    Hettie Cornett

    1. Hettie
      Thank you for sharing about your mother and for your kind comments.
      My mother certainly enjoyed her visits to Windsor and spending time with you and all of the fine folks at St Mark’s by-the-Lake

  4. I often wonder why I respond to your posts. You answer some and not others and never mine. This has a tendency to make me feel that you have favourites and I am not among the chosen. Nonetheless, I tend to follow the cult of the charismatic Kevin. It is somewhat like my resentment when I send gifts and do not receive a thank you. And for those of us born before the Internet, this means a nice thank you card sent via Canada Post. It is a gift to be a priest who is pastoral and makes all feel welcome and received. This is my gift to you for today.

    1. Evelyn –
      Really? Never?
      I have taken a look back – never is a gross over exaggeration – something I am prone to myself at times.
      I have on many occasions replied to your comments.
      Now Evelyn – be honest – Your words are hardly gift – You should have the integrity to admit they are not intended to be gift. I wonder what really is the motivation. Whatever it might be – it saddens me.
      I am sorry that you have been waiting for a reply from me that you thought your words should have motivated.
      My responses on here are governed by many things – who’s my favourite is not one of them.
      Oddly enough – I was prayerfully considering my reply to your last comment on my last post today. [I think that unnecessary at this point]
      Coming home after a full day to these words reminds me that being a priest is indeed a gift, but it is one that comes with a price.
      Indeed – Jesus never promised that following on the way would be easy.
      I pray that your expression of your feelings in this manner have helped you in some way.

      As far a gifts and a thank you go – I try and follow the scriptural reminder that have “…received without payment; give without payment.”
      Surely If I expect ANYTHING in return – I really am not gifting.

      “…cult of charismatic Kevin” – Really Evelyn! You call this a gift to me?
      May God rant that you feel love enough that you need not need to use such hyperbole to strike out.

      Peace to you,

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