Friday, September 3, 2010


My mother went into a nursing home sometime in her early 90's. Even then she was able to do things and had a sharp mind. Whenever I or one of my brothers or sisters would get in to see her we would take her down to the house which we kept open for her. Because she could outcook and outbake Julia Child, she would want to fix things for those of us who were there.

One day when I was with her I took her down to the house and after awhile she wanted to know what we would like for lunch. Whatever it was that day she asked if we would like her to make an apricot cobbler.

Let me tell you, my mother's apricot cobblers were just the next thing to manna from heaven, MAYBE BETTER!!

She got out all the ingredients and got the cobbler ready to put together. At that point in her life my mother was very unsteady on her feet which is one of the reasons she was in the nursing home. She had had a couple of strokes.

With all the ingredients in front of her on the work table I stood behind her ready to catch her if she faltered or needed support. She made the cobbler, we had lunch, and I've always thought of that as an example of how to make a cobbler with flour, sugar, apricots and a whole lot of standing with and holding up.

Gotta tell you, isn't that what it means to be in a family, a community, a circle of friendships, a marriage, a human need, standing with and holding up? The peculiar thing about this is that standing and holding is most needed when the other person in that marriage or family or community is the weakest. Nobody needs hold up Atlas. Through love and patience and prayer and stick-to-it we may make it possible for the other person to become strong, to survive whatever is causing the weakness. Not only this, but standing behind and holding up just might end up making the sweetest, most succulent, cobbler this side of heaven. Maybe even the other side as well.