Sunday, July 19, 2015

Super Summer #4: Remembering My Mother

Dear friends,

It's been two years to the day since my sweet mother, Mary Quarrier, passed away after complications from back surgery. I've been thinking of this for days. We all miss her so much.

While I was clearing off bookcases last week, I pulled out one of my mother's old Bibles - this one a Living Bible from the 1980's. She loved rainbows. The Bible case had a rainbow on it, and you can see the rainbow ribbons and butterfly bookmark. 

The rainbow also used to be a logo for the Cursillo / Walk to Emmaus retreat movements which she appreciated so much. According to one page about Cursillo, the colors each had symbolic meaning:

  • Green denotes new life ... growth.
  • Blue denotes new life ... commitment to God, His Church, His people.
  • Purple denotes our dying and rising again along with that of Christ Jesus suffering.
  • Orange and Yellow denote warmth, light, promise of hope like that of candles.
  • Red denotes celebration, joy and confirmation.

I also have one of her journals from the early 1980's. She had been taking notes on a book or a sermon, I think. This is what she wrote about making decisions within God's will:

  1. Is it an expression of our relationship with God?
  2. Will it bring us into deeper union with him?
  3. Does it express to others what he has been to us?
  4. Will it extend the Kingdom of God in and around us?
  5. Is it in keeping with the long range goals which have been discovered in prolonged meditation?
  6. Do we want to do it with a "converted wanter"?
  7. Is it consistent with the 10 Commandments and the message of the Master?
  8. Try it on in our imagination. Follow through to what our life would be like if we did it.
  9. Have we relinquished it in total surrender to our Lord?
  10. Do we have inner peace?

Have you accomplished the reason for which you were born? If not, why not? If not now, when?

I especially like #8 and the note at the bottom. I had been listening to Parker Palmer's audio book Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, and musing about who I was made to be, how I can live out my unique purpose according to my core values, using the gifts that God gave within me. (Note: If you live in Seminole County, Florida you can listen to it for free on Hoopla via this link: Let Your Life SpeakThey also have access to all sorts of major magazines that you can read for free on-line. If you live elsewhere, check to see what your library has available.)

I know I'll be reading more of my mom's journal in the coming days. It's interesting that I saw it today since I've been pondering recently what my mother would say to me now if we could have a conversation. There are so many things I'd love to discuss with her and advice I'd love to ask her as I think through decisions I am making. These notes help me, even if she didn't know she was writing forward into the future for me. I think about choices she made, transitions she went through, struggles she endured. She had a gift for adapting to the challenges of life. She was kind and generous and helpful. There are so many ways I want to follow her examples.

Here is one of the verses highlighted in her Bible:

And here is my eulogy at her memorial service:

  I've been in bed most of the day with a bad headache, so I don't have the mental energy to write more now. I already have plenty of blog posts about her, the grief process, and hymns that we either sang at her funeral or that I associate with her. You can find them here:

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

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