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From the Pastor's Desk

  • Writer's picturePastor

Good Morning Pioneer Baptist!

Let’s hear it for Mom!

Sunday is Mother’s Day, singular possessive because when, in 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked Mother's Day, she specifically noted that "Mother's" should "be a singular possessive, for each family to honor its own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world." So this is about my mother (and yours) as we celebrate, thank, and honor our Moms!

Members of the Pioneer Baptist Church have heard about every story I’ve ever recounted about Gertrude Stevens Mitchell, from the small town of Machias, Maine. She was born in 1908, well-educated for a woman of her day, and went on to become the Register of Probate there in the seat of Washington County. She married the original Buzz Mitchell, had two kids, Big Brother Pete & Little Jerry, and ended up moving to Auburn, Maine as Buzz found gainful employment there.

And “Ma” had her own viewpoint on things, which she frequently and forcefully expressed to Me and Pete. Remember, we were coming of age in the 50s and early 60s, and that was before intelligent folks had learned that borrowing $100K for a liberal arts degree so you could work in a fast food restaurant was not necessarily the way to go. Anyway, Ma let us know that her kids “were not going to be ditchdiggers(would have made a lot more money as it turns out) and that we were going to college. So, deathly fearing my mother, I applied for and enrolled at Washington State Teachers College, which was about as far away from the state of Washington as one could go without dipping his feet in the Atlantic. Once there, when on my first test in my best subject I achieved an “F,” I called Ma to tell her that I would shortly be flunking out, and to get my room ready. But she just assured me that everything would be all right, and it did turn out that way. It was much the same when some six years later I called home from Lackland Air Force Base where I was severely disappointing those training me to become an officer in the United States Air Force, and told her that I would be “washing out” there as well. Ma wrote to me telling me she and Original Buzz had my room all ready and to just come home when I wanted. But that turned out just fine as well – at least for me if not for our National Defense. And let’s not talk about her writing a check for the cost of my house at 144 East Bowdoin in Auburn, Maine, charging me the lowest interest you can imagine with no late fees ever! Bottom line, my Mother, like yours, was always there for me, and as one of my highly decorated and legitimate American heroes likes to say, she “had my back.

And that she did! I could, with a slight bit of tongue-in-cheek, cite this Mother’s Day observation from a supposedly somewhat wayward son: “You drove me to soccer practice, you drove me to school, you drove me to my friend’s house, you drove me to the mall, and I drove you crazy. Does that make us even?”

“Yes, Ma, you were always there for me, sacrificing, encouraging, motivating, and cheering me on, whether it was sports, studies, society, or just guaranteeing that I survived life’s cruel blows. I love you, Mom!

What are the chances my Mother was just like yours?

Love to all,


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