Holiness in our midst – Session 33

Holiness in our Midst


Every May, when advertisements and greeting card displays put the spotlight on mothers, I think once again about the most important life lesson I learned from my mother: a serene acceptance of the circumstances life handed her. Ruth LaVonne (Albright) Pyle, the person I called Momma, didn’t rail against God when she learned that she had incurable cancer. She just continued to create art out of everyday life. A family friend remembered her gently asking, “Why put a question mark where God puts a period?”

Of course, she got all available treatments, but she spent no time bemoaning her plight. She never said, “Why me, God?” Not once did I hear her complain. She continued to tend her pretty pansies, roses and bleeding hearts. She transplanted day lilies to her mother’s garden, knowing that they would bring comfort and continuity when she was gone. She kept up a lovely community presence, bringing social grace to Farm Bureau and church clubs. She cared for my three siblings and me as long as she could. We went to church, squeaky clean and cutely dressed. For our birthdays, she still created masterpiece birthday cakes: butterflies, carnivals, dolls, tractors. She didn’t want to travel far and wide, fulfilling “bucket list” fantasies. She just continued being a homemaker/mother, a calling which she elevated to an art form. She spent time with each of us, nurturing our special interests and needs. She bought books for me, naming me her “little bookworm.” When she could no longer care for herself, she graciously accepted care from family and friends. She said her last good-byes tearfully and carefully, prepared for the next life.

Though I was only seven when she passed away, I’ve was able to pick up on her “making lemonade out of lemons” philosophy. It makes sense, saves a lot of time to face into, rather than fight like mad, the circumstances in front of me. I think of her when I persevere, grateful for the example of how to live and, ultimately, leave well.

STORY CIRCLE QUESTION: What is one life lesson you learned from your mother?


  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Write a journal reflection on the life lessons you learned from your mother. What was the most important one? What life lessons would you like to pass along to the next generation?


  1. Read aloud Session XXXIII.
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Question.