In the next few minutes and packing this machine away in its carrying case, then putting it and the other luggage into the car …. and in about 40 minutes we will make our way to our friends’ home and then they will convey us to the airport.
But before I go, I want to wish all the mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, adoptive mothers, “other mothers” … in other words, all the important women in anyone’s life, a very Happy Mothers Day.
I’m one of those folks who had one of those contradictory, contrary, never-quite-to-be-figured-out mothers, who was nonetheless very, very loving and supportive, and who I miss very deeply still eight years after her passing (Lord, it doesn’t seem that long ago!).
She was not happy when I decided to leave the practice of law and give up being managing partner of a major firm in Nevada to be ordained. True to her depression-era up-bringing, her concerns were purely economic (and well-founded, to be admitted — I did go from a pretty good six-figure annual income to less than $26,000 a year on my first clergy job).
But once I was ordained, she was as supportive of my ministry as she had been of every other venture in my life. Having been reared in the Disciples of Christ, she understood the weekly communion, but all the “calisthenics” and the ritual she didn’t quite get.
About a year after I was made a priest, my wife and I visited my folks and while attending to something or other in her bedroom, I saw on her nightstand a folder of “Inquirer’s Class” information from the local Episcopal parish. So I said to her, “Are you and Stan [my step-dad] taking confirmation classes?”
Her response, “Well, I guess you’re serious about this, so I thought we better check it out.” They did check it out: she was confirmed and my step-dad, a non-practicing Roman, was received. And both became very active in their parish and both expressed their desire to be buried from, and into the soil of, their congregation — their ashes are now interred together in the memory garden of St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church in Huntington Beach, California.
And there have been other important women who have filled that “other mother” role throughout my life, so I salute all women of influence on this Mother’s Day.
Hopefully, I’ll be making my next post from somewhere in the Republic of Ireland!