Letting Go…Vintage Style

Yesterday I asked Mother to tell me about her first day of school again. I love the story. This time, a new truth surfaced–for both of us.

(Grandmother Goge, and my mother. Early 1940s.)

I’m in red letters. Mother’s in black.


Early that September morning on the front porch, I decided I was afraid. “Mother,” I said blinking hard. “Look. Everybody’s mothers are walking with them.” School was four blocks away.

I had no idea mothers walked their children to school. My father died when I was two, and Mother couldn’t walk with me. She had to go to work.

“You’ll be fine, Mannie.” She knelt down on the porch and re-tied my sash. “Miss Edna is expecting you, and you can walk with your friends and their mothers.”

I blinked harder and swallowed.

Mother held me close for a minute and whispered, “You’re not really going alone. I’ve asked Jesus to go with you.”

But I couldn’t see Him. Or hold His hand.

Nevertheless, I plodded along with my friends.

In our classroom, all the other mothers stood in a semi-circle as we children found our desks.

“Good morning, boys and girls,” Miss Edna said. “Welcome to Stillwell Elementary. I see mothers have come with their children today. That’s nice. There’s one child who came without her mother. This little girl must be very mature. Marion, dear, will you be my helper?” She patted a small chair beside her.

Miss Edna’s smile greeted me with warmth I couldn’t explain. I sat in the chair, my feet not quite touching the floor, but joy touching my heart. Every ounce of fear disappeared!

Oh, Mother, what wisdom Goge had!

What if she’d looked afraid?

What if she’d clung to you on the porch? Or said, “How will you manage without me?”

Nope. None of that. And she didn’t grab my hand and run along beside me saying, “I don’t have time to do this–I’ll be late for work, but I can’t let go.”

You know, she gave you the secret of love. And life.

Something else.

What she said, well…it helps us let go at the end and move  on to the next life. Oh, Julie. Imagine the joys we’ll discover there!

Now I’m the one blinking hard. If Goge were alive today, I’d thank her!


How are you doing with letting go? Any nuggets of wisdom?






  1. Brenda Osborne says:

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for posting~

  2. Precious, powerful story, Julie! I’m wiping the tears. “Imagine the joys we’ll discover there.”

    Yes, just imagine…

    • I know, Vonda!! And I’d heard Mother tell this story so many times–wasn’t until this week that we put the ending on the story. xoxo

  3. GULP….where’s the tissues?

  4. arie says:

    Julie, do you ever go through your blog and appreciate your progress? Lately your posts have gone to a deeper level. I hope you acknowledge yourself for baring your heart in public. You have such a tender heart I imagine that that is a giant leap into the abyss for you, which turns out to be faith and comfort of God’s warm palms. Thanks for sharing your heart. Arie

    • Arie, I may have to read this comment all day long. All year long. THANK YOU. And no, I’ve never looked back over my blog posts and thought about progress.

      Every Tuesday night (though it’s getting a easier) ….I think, am I really going to post this tomorrow?

      I used to wake up between midnight Tuesday nights and early Wednesday mornings with so many doubts.

      What if nobody understands?

      But it seems the more I let go (ha!!!–letting go–surrender!) the more I trust Him.

      Can’t tell you how much your encouragement has meant. xoxoxoxoxo

  5. Ahhh….a simple story with a multi-layered message. I love it. Tell your mom how much she gives to others when she shares herself. : o )

    • I know, B.J.! I was driving home from the Y thinking about the layers of truth my grandmother taught in that ten-second or so moment in time.

  6. Alisha Mason says:

    I love this. I also agree with Arie. You have been so gloriously open for all to come inside your story, your mind – your heart. How beautiful. You know, this is another nugget in your own story, you letting go and flying, flying. Goge was right, when you write about your life, your emotions and loved ones – isn’t it the Lord who is looking over you.
    I look forward to Wednesday to read your “truth”. God bless you. Love you. Alisha

  7. Thank you, dear Alisha! You are all so welcome in my heart. And yes, the Lord is looking over me, just like Goge said seventy-years ago!

    Makes me smile to know you look forward to my heart-posts!!! 🙂 🙂

    Love you.

  8. Maxine says:

    Oh, Julie, what a wonderful, wonderful story.

    I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes – – recalling my first day in school
    (1946) – but can remember it like yesterday – and remembering my mother, too.

    Your “Goge” was a special lady – – as is your sweet mother, “Mannie”…..

    Loved it! Thanks for including me each week – to receive your articles.
    Guideposts is fortunate to have you as one of their writers….keep up the great
    work!! You bless us all!!


  9. Thank you, sweet Maxine. I love how those memories (the good ones!) stay strong in our hearts! So glad you related to this one, my friend.


  10. Lori Durham says:


    Thank you for sharing your mother’s story. It is wise and beautiful.

  11. When I read your mom’s last part, my heart thrilled! Just imagine, Julie!! While I love this life and thank God for the gift of it, I can hardly wait for the next one!! It’s forever!!!!!

  12. Thank you, Julie, for allowing your readers to re-live precious memories with you and your Mom. As parents and grandparents, our last words to our sweeties as they go out the door are powerful nutrients not only for that day, but food for a lifetime.

  13. So true, Colleen. It just blows my mind that this little front porch scene happened seventy years ago, and STILL touches hearts. Love you, my friend. See you soon!

  14. Brenda Greene says:

    Sweet “generational” story, Julie…thanks for sharing.

    And I heartily agree with Ane: “While I love this life and thank God for the gift of it, I can hardly wait for the next one!! It’s forever!!!!!”

    Continued thanks for sharing your heart Sweet Lady. Brenda

  15. Thank you, thank you, Dear Brenda! Means so much to know that my heart reaches others!


  16. Always pointing to Jesus…yes yes yes. How much more your precious mother learned than all the children with mothers by their sides. A lesson that has shaped her and you and your children.

  17. You’re soooooooooooo right, Robin. How much more my mother learned walking to school “alone.” Love it, love it.

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