I bet you didnt know # 3

I recently had what may seem like a silly idea.I wondered, what is it that you might like to knowabout me before I take my leave for South Carolina?What about me do you not already know? Over the next couple of weeks, I will share a story or two or three. A story that is likely to be new to you.

Today’s story begins with Exodus 20:12 which says: Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. While there is a deep and rich metaphysical meaning to these words, that will be a message for another day.  Today, I focus on honor your father and your mother.  My father is now beyond the veil and I honor the life he lived and all that I learned from him during is human life and so much more after his passing.   I honor my mother who is still among those of us who live this human experience with humor and practical jokes. 

As I recall it, my mother and her best friend Ina, were the instigators of many pranks during our weekend church retreats.   It was my mother and her followers who stirred things up in the dinning hall then sat quietly with innocent faces.   This alone leaves no wonder to why I enjoyed pranking her from time to time.

The first that is in my memory goes back to elementary school.   Mom carefully poured a glass of milk and placed it on the kitchen table.  As she turned to put the milk jug back into the refrigerator, I quickly drank the entire glass she poured and back to the table went the empty glass.   When she turned back to pick up her glass of milk, a strikingly perplexed look came over her face.  She looked at me but I was pretending to tie my tennis shoes.  When our eyes finally met, I couldn’t help but laugh at my own ability to prank her. 

With Halloween this weekend, my memory takes me back to a Halloween prank from my youth. Children by the droves went door to door in my home town.  They canvassed the neighborhoods in small and large groups gathering all the goodies they could carry.  One Halloween as the children came and went, I grew restless and decided to have al little fun of my own.  I joined in one of the groups and bent down low to the ground and disguised myself as the front page of a newspaper.  Mom knew all the kids in town and taught many of them in Vacation Bible School.  Her practice was to try to guess who each child was behind their Halloween disguise. One by one the children giggled as they lifted their masks and collected their candy.   Then she stopped at the newspaper (me in disguise) and was truly perplexed.  She laughed and swatted me as I stood up to full height and took the newspaper away from my face.  “Oh Karen!”, she squealed.  She did reward me with extra candy for being able to trick her so completely.

My all-time favorite surprise for Mom was the Christmas after I graduated high school.  During my high-school years, my family became a foster family.  Numerous children came and went through our home during those years. One particular pair were a brother and sister, Ginger and Andy.  I was very fond of them and missed them terribly when I moved into an apartment in the city (Pittsburgh) with my older sister.   When Christmas came, I decided that being foster children, no matter how great the foster home, was likely a difficult experience for a young child.I thought these two cuties deserved a special visit from Santa Clause on Christmas morning.  I got to work on a costume and stuffed it with pillows for believability.  It was a great surprise when Santa showed up early Christmas morning with a sack of toys in tow.  No one, except my older sister realized it was me until my skinny wrist slid out from the sleeve of the costume.   Santa was a huge success with Ginger and Andy. For me, still today, remembering that morning still brings a tear to my eyes. 

Life was hard for Mom many times. Honoring her lighthearted moments brings me joy to this day.  Well into her eighty’s, Mom now lives in a nursing home that provides specialty care for people with advanced dementia.  Alzheimer’s may have stolen her memory, but her essence remains intact.  While she has no recall of who I am, I still see and hear glimpse of her sweetnessas she makes sure her neighbor is warm enough during lunch.  Seeing a video of her singing Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will be), reminds me to savor the laughter and happy memories always. We have no knowledge of what the future brings, we can only decide to live our best, whatever the future holds.

So now you know, I love a good prank, especially when I am the one doing the pranking!

Sunday is Halloween! I’ll be wearing my Halloween mask, and it’s not just the Covid mask.  Join me at 11:00 in the sanctuary or live on our website www.dallsunity.org, our YouTube channel or Facebook live.  Either way you join us, know that “your soul is welcome here”.  Sunday we’ll explore “The Masks We Wear”.  See you there