En Route

Mother died today….

Sometimes the most memorable journeys we take En Route are in our hearts and minds, and today was one of those times for me.

Quite by accident, I chanced upon a blog about stay-at-home mothers, and how little value society now places upon a vocation that was once considered a sacred trust, and stay-at-home mothers were not second-class citizens, or thought of as uneducated and boring.  

The nurturing and molding of decent human beings is a gargantuan task. It takes every ounce of strength, courage, and compassion that you have, and it goes on round the clock, week after week, and year after year, and when a mother dies, everything stops – everything. There’s a hole in your heart that never heals, and that’s true no matter how old you are – we all have (or have had) mothers. Suddenly, there’s no one there to clean the house, cook your meals, or hold your hand when you’re sick, or comfort you when you’re scared. There are no arms to rock you when your world falls apart, no kind and gentle words of wisdom that only mothers, it seems, can impart. Our mothers are critical to our well being, and the loss of one’s mother is devastating. Can you think of a job or occupation that could possibly be more important?

I can scarce believe some of the derogatory comments I’ve heard in this vein, so I felt compelled to comment on the value of stay-at-home moms, and with a quote from Albert Camus (author of The Stranger) fresh in my mind, I did so.  I don’t often give my opinion, as I’m well aware of what it’s worth, but sometimes I feel that to be silent would be criminal.

My comment on the blog:

‘Evening!

Interesting comments.

In a nutshell:  Since children are highly portable, it’s possible to be with your children 24/7 and still be ‘out’ in the workforce.  My husband and I had nine children (only four are still living in the flesh, I’m sorry to say, but that’s another story, or blog. You can read about our adventures at http://www.enroutewithjesse.com ).

Home is where the family is, and while I’m a missionary/author/singer-songwriter/musician, and naturopath, I took my children with me wherever I went in the world – and I’ve traveled most of it .. My husband and I home schooled them and kept them in our proverbial hip pockets until they were ready to branch out on their own, which they’ve all done, and now we’re blessed with several grandchildren.  Our kids who have kids are all stay-at-home moms, by the way, which I find both gratifying and interesting.

I’m not knocking working mom’s here, as I’ve always been one, and I don’t doubt for a moment that most moms are doing their best for their children, but is the choice to leave their kids for ten or more hours a day an informed one?  Somehow, I think not.  I applaud all moms and dads who are working hard to provide for their children (which is their obligation, of course), but I’m *deeply *concerned about the absence of mothers in the home.  I’m concerned that I can type ‘Latchkey kids’ in to this comment and not have a spellchecker correct me.  As old-fashioned as it has now become, I strongly believe that children should be within arm’s reach of their parents until they are old enough to go it alone.  What other species can you name that abandons its children for material anything?

To be sure, leaving one’s child to work all day is sometimes unavoidable, but let’s be honest – most working mothers don’t work because they have to, they work because they want to, period.  The needs of children nowadays too often come after the wants of their parents, and I’ve lived long enough to watch the present trend take hold.  This is not progress or liberty, it’s the shift from family to ‘self,’ and that shift will be the undoing of those who subscribe to the ‘self’ philosophy, but the greatest casualties in this moral war, will always and forever be our children.

The fall of *every* world power in history was preceded by the disintegration of the family unit.  When families fall apart, so do individuals, villages, towns, cities, and finally nations, and people become displaced, confused, and lose their sense of identity… and their roots, and they begin to question their intrinsic worth, and their reason for being.  Just look at North America today, it’s spiritually, morally, and financially bankrupt – and the U.S. won’t be a world power for much longer, sadly.  It was a great country once.

As unpopular a comment as I’m sure this will be, I firmly believe that if one *intends* to avoid raising one’s children oneself, or at least have them brought up within the family unit (as in Grandma looks after them for you), I don’t believe one ought to have them – it’s selfish, irresponsible, and… unkind.  If you disagree, I invite you to visit any daycare five minutes after working mothers drop their children off – it’s nothing less than heartbreaking!

While I don’t wish to downplay the importance of fathers in any family, there’s a reason why people all around the world agree that one of the most poignant and ‘best first lines’ in any novel is:

‘MOTHER DIED TODAY.’

Gets you where it counts, doesn’t it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Love and All Good Things – Jesse.’

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TAUO Presentation Box halfsize

The featured image for this post is the cover from the second book in the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series The Least of These.  You can read the first five chapters here –

Click to access first_five.pdf

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En Route

Flight….

This magnificent bald eagle was perched motionless high up in a tree beside the Bridge River, focused intently on catching a glimpse of silver scales flashing in the fast-moving water – breakfast for his growing family, and a slow, grizzly death for the unsuspecting salmon. I watched him for a moment or two, his head darting back and forth, his yellow eyes skimming the pearl gray water, his pinions disheveling in the biting wind.  He ignored me, and as I coaxed my Canon to come to life in the chill of the early morning, I snapped him as he left his perch, diving at 105 miles per hour, but he disappeared in to the canyon before I could get his prey on film.  Man!  I hate that!  Anyway, he put me in mind of a song I wrote not so long ago, and used (in part) as the opening to Chapter Twenty-one in book #4 – The Gathering Dark – in the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series.

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Most of you probably know by now that all of the chapters in all of the books are preceded by a poem, prose, or a song to set the mood for each chapter.  If I’d had this fellow then, I think I might have included him….

 

‘Black Roses

 

Last night I dreamed of black roses

With blood dripping red from their thorns

And the sky was a strange kind of crimson

That never did change with the dawn

And I stood there and stared at an eagle

Its yellow eyes stared back at me

It was caught up in flight and soon gone from my sight

And I wished that eagle were me

 

Last night I dreamed I was flying

And my wings took me out into space

As the stars drifted by me I wondered

Why no breath of wind kissed my face

It was dark, it was cold there and empty

Each glimmer of light far away

And part of me wanted to run from that place

Another part wanted to stay

 

Last night I dreamed I was aching

For somebody warm in my bed

Just someone to hold me, but nobody told me

That I’d wake up lonely instead

And I cried for the sand and the sound of the sea

For the softly whispering foam

And I do confess it’s a mystery to me

Why I can’t seem to find my way home’

 

 

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(Above) Scanning the waters.

 

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Ah… breakfast!

 

 

I love flight, I always have, and I’ve flown in most kinds of planes, I suppose, from hot-air balloons, to gliders, to MiGs, to all sorts of commercial planes.  The only one I haven’t been up in, and would still love to experience, is a Dassault Falcon 7X.  Ah, but I managed to live vicariously… a little, in enjoying Tom’s and Jenny’s journeys in theirs.

Despite the sense of loss and longing at the conclusion of Black Roses, it seems to me that we’re all searching in one way or another, and however far our journeys may take us, we’re just trying to find our way home….

Love, peace, and All Good Things – Jesse.

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TAUO Presentation Box halfsize

Read the first five chapters of the seven-novel Time & Unforeseen Occurrence series here –

Click to access first_five.pdf

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