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?