Last week, I discussed turning points in Mom’s life that directed her journey to being The Recipe DetectiveTM. Mom always accredited these turning points, which she often referred to as “meant-to-be’s”, to being part of God’s plan for her. Mom’s faith was a HUGE part of who she was!
Everything Mom wrote contained messages of faith, hope, and love that she referred to as “food for the soul” – interwoven with a bushel-and-a-peck of humor, her “Food for Thought” articles (from columns she used to syndicate), and “food for the table” recipes. The combination, along with Mom’s other artistic talents, set her publishings apart from any other’s!
In sharing her story and legacy of being The Recipe DetectiveTM, since this is the National Month of Hope, I thought I should also incorporate stories of Mom’s own faith, hope, and love; since that’s just as much a part of who she was, as were her writing and other talents.
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, pp. 104-105)
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE HEALING
MY OLDER SISTER, Hazel, was about 12-years old when [the doctors] told Dad she had polio and probably would not live more than a year. Medical science had done all it could for her. She was unable to eat, to even get out of bed, and she was frail and weak…
Dad was clinging to just a thread of hope and willing to try anything that would help Hazel recover. He once told her, he would if he could, give her diamonds if she would just eat again, like a normal child. Finally, he took a step that turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to our family, and to Hazel.
Dad had known of a cousin who had become a serious student of Christian Science having studied under its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, in Boston, when the cousin was quite young. Dad knew that his cousin had experienced some remarkable healing through the study of this Science, so he took a chance that a visit to her might offer him some hope that Hazel could also be healed of polio through it…
It certainly was a turning point in their lives, for within a year she was completely recovered, restored to perfect health, without even a trace of a limp – no braces on her legs, no crutches. The medical authorities who had originally discharged her from school, readmitted her with astonishment and disbelief.
From that time on, Dad was absolutely devoted to the study of Christian Science, and it was my mother’s deep and abiding faith that served to then inspire me in my adult years, as she also adopted it as her own [faith] when she married my dad. Dad could never understand why any of his children would stray from its teachings as we reached adulthood.
But how proud he would be, today, to see that we have returned to it, without so much as even a backward glance or entertaining any regrets. Each new day is unfoldment and inspiration, finding new meaning to life because of a broader outlook, a deeper sense of prayerful appreciation for God’s perfect plan for each one of us!
A few years ago [in the mid-1980s], in fact, I learned that neither magic nor medicine could make my problems go away, nor even relieve me, temporarily, from physical torment and mental anguish. Doctors and tests and expensive medication did not help.
So, in desperation, I turned again to that faith by which I had been raised, discarding then and there every material, medical aid; much of which I was addicted to in the form of tranquilizers and sleeping aids.
I dumped it all into the garbage, one day – the cigarettes, of which I smoked nearly 3 packs a day for years; and all of the assorted kinds of alcohol, to which I had come to depend so much on, and without which at night I could not fall asleep, along with the medication the doctor said would never cure whatever it was that physically weakened me for several years and caused my heart to race periodically without warning.
The medicine that was supposed to help me was, instead, making me helpless. I sat down on the steps of the office and cried. I told Paul I could not go on like that any longer. So I phoned a friend who was a Christian Scientist and I asked her to give me the name and phone number of a registered practitioner from her Journal, which she did.
I called one, asking him if he would take my case. He did and it was the beginning for me of a brand-new life. Day by day, moment by moment, since that turning point I returned to normal health and energy, progressively free from the many unresolved fears and pain that seem to preoccupy me for such a long time. One step after the other, I gained confidence, courage and character. My cup runneth over and over and over!
A lot of stories Mom wrote were about finding the blessings in any given day or moment; good and bad, alike. That’s just how she was raised, being grateful for something, everyday – not just for Life’s gifts, but also for Life’s challenges. That which she confronted and overcame, empowered her to do more rather than discouraged her to fail. Failure was never an option Mom’s faith would allow in!
Besides being grateful for something every day, Mom would also strive to learn something new every day. She looked at every day as a defining moment, in which the combination of experience, faith, and knowledge can positively influence one’s personal evolutions.
Mom was a devout Christian – born and bred in the Christian Science faith, with Jewish and Lutheran influences, as well. No matter what the problems and struggles she faced, she never lost hope that it was all a part of “God’s plan” for her. She would always try to find something, from which to learn and for which to be grateful.
‘You have not failed until you quit trying.’ – Gordon B. Hinckley
Mom held fast to hope, faith, and love; trudging through whatever she had to face, to get where she needed to be. Mom not only wrote daily about her faith in her personal journals but also in all of her cookbooks and newsletters. She shared it publicly and openly, with hopes of inspiring others – to be a candle, if not a lighthouse!
Happiness is a state of thought. It begins with gratitude for all we’ve already received and achieved – not with what we ‘own’ or the ‘things’… – Gloria Pitzer, as seen in Gloria Pitzer’s Secret RecipesTM Newsletter, Issue #218 (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; Nov. 2000, p. 5)
Happy Easter (in advance)!
In honor of TODAY, being National Pet Day, here are some of Mom’s secret recipes for homemade pet foods. Having been part of her original catalog of 200+ recipe cards, they were reprinted in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 44).
By the way, National Pet Parents Day is coming soon, too!
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
Some of April’s observances include… National Records and Information Management Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Decorating Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Garden Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Poetry Month, Scottish-American Heritage Month, and Stress Awareness Month!
As the second full week of April (2022), it’s also… National Library Week, which includes… National Education and Sharing Day (today), National Library Workers Day (Tuesday), National Bookmobile Day (Wednesday), and National Library Workers Day (Saturday)!
April 14th is… National Gardening Day, National Reach as High as You Can Day, and National Look Up at the Sky Day! It’s also… National Pecan Day AND National Pecan Month! Thus, here’s a re-share of Mom’s imitation of Pecan Pie, Like Big Boy’s!
April 16th is… National Eggs Benedict Day!
April 17th is… National Ellis Island Family History Day, National Cheeseball Day, and Easter (for 2022)! Plus, as the start of the third full week of April (2022), it’s also… National Volunteer Week; which goes with April being National Volunteer Month, too!
…15 down and 37 to go!