Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Keeping Mom's Spirit Alive

Julia as Belle, 2010
My niece just sent me some photos of her wearing a costume that my Mom made for me in high school, fifteen years ago. I was struck by two things, one that Mom can no longer sew or make things like this anymore, and two that we can keep Mom’s inner spirit alive by incorporating the past.

When we honor and remember what Mom used to be able to do and when we incorporate the things she has made into our lives today, we are keeping Mom’s memory alive. We remind her of what she has done in her life, and we let her know how much those things mean to us.

The costume my niece Julia wore is a Belle costume from Beauty and the Beast. Belle is my and Julia’s favorite Disney princess. I wore that costume for Halloween, and then in college I wore it while I worked at the Disney store and I created “Story Time with Belle” at the mall. Not only are our lives touched by that costume of a character we love, but so were many children’s lives because they loved story time with Belle. They would draw me pictures and thank Belle for reading to them.

When Julia wrote to us and sent us the photos, she made Mom very happy. Mom saw just how much she contributes to this world, even now that her abilities have changed.

The inner spirit of who we are lives on through the people who keep those memories going. Maybe it is our job now, as Mom is losing her abilities and memory, to help keep her spirit alive by enjoying the past and reminiscing with her.

Mom often talks about feeling worthless now that she can not do things like she used to. She feels like her inner spirit is lost. We can help her find herself again by the ways in which we honor who she is and all the things she has done for us.

Story time with Belle, 1999
Julia can wear her costume, I can cook pies making the crust Mom taught me to make, and my son loves his white blanket Mom made for him which he carries everywhere. Mom’s spirit and love is in all of those things and we can share that with her, with each other, and with the world.


Rev. Katie


  1. Katie,

    I was touched by this piece. Knowing the kind gentle soul your Mom is made it all the more so. I have always believed that the important things in our relationship with our parents are with us for all time. Memories, Morals,and our outlook on life in general prove to be their legacy. Take comfort in that . The legacy you pass to your children contains the DNA of our ancestors love and affection.

    Jane Steigerwald

  2. Jane,
    Thank you for your kind comment. Mom and Dad thank you as well.

    Rev. Katie