Interview with Dr. Farina King

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Farina King, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, is Assistant Professor of History and an affiliate of Cherokee and Indigenous Studies at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. She received her PhD at Arizona State University in U.S. History. King specializes in twentieth-century Native American Studies. She is the author of The Earth Memory Compass: Diné …

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If You Only Knew…How much a Heavenly Mother meant to the Motherless

Today’s guest post is from Keira Shae (Scholz). Keira lives in the Rocky Mountains and holds the undisputed title for the Nation’s #1 Worst Baker. Her favorite animal is a human, and that’s why she is in psychology and is married with three sons. Her memoir How The Light Gets In was published in 2018 …

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The Errand of Angels

By Catherine Arveseth

Months before my Mom passed away, I sat on the couch next to her and recorded her voice. I captured her thoughts, her laughter, and her gratitude for each of my siblings and my Dad. 

Friends, who had experienced loss, told me they really missed the voice of their loved one. So as my Mother’s health continued to decline, she and I worked to record a voice memo for each person in our immediate family and then for her grandchildren. I wanted them to be able to hear her say how much she loved them, whenever they needed it, or wanted it. I wasn’t worried about getting a memo for myself. I was spending so much time with my Mom; I wanted to finish theirs first.

After the funeral, I re-listened to my Mother’s voice and texted the voice memos to my siblings. I remember tapping the blue send arrow and suddenly feeling totally and completely bereft, like a small rowboat dropped from a much larger ship into a churning sea, with no tether. Left to fare the heaving waters alone.

I had no voice memo. I know it seems a little thing, even a selfish thing, and at the time we were recording I didn’t feel worried about it. But when I realized everyone else had this precious message just for them, I felt unmoored, undone. Like I had dealt myself an inequity, an unfairness. I don’t know why it bothered me so much, but it troubled me to the core. 

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Pioneer Grandmothers and Helping Babies Breathe in Nepal

By Kimberly Sears

My eyes still well up with tears when I recall the excruciating ordeal of my first baby’s birth. The most comforting thing during those thirty-one hours was when my mom whispered to me, “Kimberly, all the grandmothers are here, in this room, watching over and helping you.” How did she know my pioneer foremothers were on …

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Surprise: Happy, Happy, Happy Anniversary

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Engagement photoIn July of 1994, my two sisters and I sifted through the belongings in our widowed mother’s home. She lay in a hospital nearby, unconscious and dying of a massive stroke at the age of 78. She lingered in that condition for nearly three weeks before she finally passed.

During those weeks, we hunted through the disarray of her home for documents, policies, and other papers that might be helpful for the disposition of her estate. It was grim and devastating work.

One trip to the dumpster behind her apartment complex allowed me (at last) to get rid of the embarrassingly poor plaster sculpture I’d made in high school two decades previously. I had never liked it, but my mom kept it in a place of honor. While there was a frisson of relief to see that thing go, my knees buckled with wordless grief when a set of Mom’s dentures tumbled with other “trash” into the dumpster, too. That she would never need them, never speak again, was more than I could fathom. My being the only Mormon in the family didn’t make my grief any easier to bear right in the midst of our loss.

My sisters Susan and Holly meanwhile had discovered Mom’s car insurance policy tucked into the 50th Rockford High School reunion program; stock certificates for companies long since defunct in one stack of papers; and boxes of old family photos – few of them labeled.

Holly pulled a small metal lock box out from one pile. Among the papers inside was one that baffled us all.

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Losing Elanor

By Karin Brown

My husband’s parents arrived at our home early that morning: Curtis, my father-in-law, was excited and eager; my mother-in-law, Eleanor, was not. My husband, Sterling, and his dad were headed out for a day of refuge and hiking in the mountains, but his mom wasn’t healthy enough to join them. So Eleanor was to spend …

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By Lisa Meadows Garfield

It was a dark and stormy night last Friday here in Georgia. Okay, it was really just drizzling, but it was dark. My mom was driving me and my daughter to my sister’s house, about a mile away, for dinner. Because Mom lives here and I don’t, I figured she knew where she was going. We picked up her prescription at the drive-in pharmacy, then headed to my sister’s house. At least that was the plan.

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A Blessing for Mothers’ Day

“Mothers’ Poem” was collectively written by twelve women from the Santa Monica CA Stake on the occasion of Mothers’ Day, 2011. The genesis of the poem occurred at one of the Westdale II Ward’s Friday “Park Days” (moms chat, kids play).  On one of these days, the topic of conversation was the article on Mormon women’s ritual healing that had been published in a recent issue of the Journal of Mormon History. We discussed the nearly century-long legacy of Mormon women laying on hands to bless the sick.  We were especially touched by the beautiful ritual of sisters coming together to bless women about to give birth.  One of the sisters in our group, who was eight months pregnant at the time, mused about how powerful and meaningful it would be to receive a blessing from sisters who shared the experience of birth as a physical and spiritual passage.  We wanted to draw on this rich spiritual legacy while showing deference to the Church’s current policy governing blessings, and hit upon the idea of writing a collective poem. Each section of the text represents the contribution of an individual sister (plus an introductory section at the beginning).  This poem contains the words that we would say if we lived during the time when Mormon women gave blessings, or the words of a prayer that we might offer today on behalf of a sister among us preparing to cross the threshold into motherhood.

This poem was written by Marcella Capasso, Darin Epperson, Melissa Erekson, Rachel Gee, Lori Hulbert, Melissa Inouye, Neesha McKay, Leslie Paugh, Tanna Romero, Donna Simon, Kim Wilson, and Gwendolyn Wyne

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Let’s give it up for…

By Marintha Miles

Mother-in-Laws! That’s right! I know, I know. Media images fill our psyches with images of the Marie Barones of the world. But hey, they gave birth to our husbands, right?

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Running the Numbers

By Maralise Petersen

And the evening and the morning were the first day.

I ran 200 fewer miles in 2010 than in 2009.  I read 25 fewer books.  I spent a lot of time doing things I don’t enjoy like moving, volunteering in classrooms, baking (mostly) unsuccessful allergen-free breads and goodies, hosting parties and play-dates, and cleaning.  I gave up lifelong dreams.  I walked away from opportunities I thought I wanted.  I had another miscarriage, another D&C.  I continued to be terrible at things like Visiting Teaching (or any activity in which I have to use the phone), making deadlines, and mailing packages.  I spent more time alone.

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