My Mother, the Nun

Alright, my mother isn’t, and wasn’t ever, a nun.  She grew up wanting to be one, but life has a way of trading dreams on people, and I was the first trade-off.

Her life wasn’t anywhere close to a serene cloistered order.  I wrote a little about that in a post called ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’.

Her adult road didn’t include even following the tenets of her early faith.  The closest to church involvement was the annual search for one that held summer camps for kids.  That was her summer break and our free annual vacation.

What she ended up doing mostly was working 12 hour days in emergency first-aid and security detail.   A few years into this industry, she’d re-found her faith, but it could never be used as any kind of vocation. Those 12 hour shifts were an economic necessity and there are few comparable offerings in the faith field.

So, it was long days until retirement at age 71.  By then she wanted only to putter, and maybe volunteer a little.  She’d already started going to church regularly again, and she helped the Reverend here and there.  Their pleasant working relationship became true friendship. She had no idea this would cause her earliest reveries to swell again.

One day the Reverend made her an offer.  Would she like to be a lay-reader?  She would only have to study some, and practise the rituals in assistance for a while.  She was instantly transported to places of long ago innocence.  Her sixty something year old dream, a little re-shaped, finally got her to that place that was always meant to be.

Mom vestments October 2013-2

Kicked the habit, made good in
My mother,


Blogger and author JT Weaver posted a challenge to write stories in the 270 word range. For some of us, this is like requesting a brush-cut after we’ve been used to only a trim up to the hips. In the end though, it’s made me appreciate the less is more doctrine even more.  JT’s challenge idea was inspired by the “Hemingway Challenge” and Abraham Lincoln’s succinct Gettysburg Address of 270 words:  (2014 – 01 – 11- the-270)

P.S. This exercise also taught me that WordPress includes the captions on photos in their word count. I did not.

28 thoughts on “My Mother, the Nun

    • Once again, thank you so much. I’m glad you liked this one especially. I knew when I saw your challenge that I wanted to participate, but I was clueless about the subject. Then my mother emailed me the picture, and the rest, as they say, was re-blogged on JT Weaver. 🙂 Thank you for that too.


  1. isn’t it interesting how we somehow find our way back to what we are originally intended to do and be? it happens in a way we could never imagine. wonderful story about your mother ) beth


    • You know, you are right Beth, we do seem to do a full, usually imperfect, circle. Well, for my mother’s family, there were only two respectable aspirations achievable to them, nuns and military service. My uncles did their military time, but as you read, my mom had to wait a little for her plan. Cheers.


  2. Just goes to show that when someone gets a “calling” there is no way they won’t get the chance to answer it whether now or later. Lovely remembering of your mother. Thanks for sharing, Robyn!


    • Hi Diahann – yes, she finally made it, although it couldn’t have been a more different dream from mine. It gives her quite a little thrill, and of course that makes me smile. Also makes me wonder where I will end up by then. I’ve been thinking a little about any unrealized dreams from 100 years ago…. Nice to see you, as always. 🙂


  3. Beautiful story about your mom.
    My mother, a widow of two years now, has found a new rhythm to her life. My dad was quite ill the last several years of his life and my mother was his sole care-giver. Though his death was very hard on her, she woke up, got out of bed, and went to church the day after he died. That has been her routine ever since. Two years later, she is one of the busiest women I know, finding new purpose and joy in being a grandmother/great grandmother and a devout, participating member of her church.


    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, and I say the same thing about your own mother’s story – beautiful!
      It’s amazing what doing any kind of service for other people does to bring people to life. I think it also helps to keep us healthy too.
      Thank you so much for coming by, it was really lovely to read your comment.


  4. That is so great! Good for your mom! My mom worked in the parish office and was way more into Church when she got older and didn’t have to deal with us kids. It’s much easier to go to mass without a 4 year old.

    Congrats on your FP!


    • Thank you Maggie! Yes, my mom really got quite a kick out of this new mission of hers. I guess it was to her, what getting the FP is to me. We have both been on new adventures this past year, and they seem to be working out for each of us.
      Thank you so much for your visit and your kindness in leaving a comment.


    • ..And, thank you for that!

      You went on quite a reading spree, which I take as a really high compliment. Thanks so much for taking a look under the mat on my little site. I really appreciate the time you spent here today.


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