An Orphan Speaks on Mother’s Day

Mom+Marian_2 mos_5x9_300

This is my first Mother’s Day without my mother, Ruth Metzler Longenecker. To say I miss her is an understatement of the highest order. Technically, I could be considered an orphan with both my mother and father gone. However, with my own extended family and considering my age, I doubt that such a designation applies.

Is there a word for my status without a living mother or father at my age? I wonder.

Mother lived a full life with many happy moments and good health until a few days before her death on July 28, 2014. Over her lifetime, she had seen phenomenal changes in American culture, including technological ones as shown here:

Mennonite Women_new phone_p89

Anna Catherine (Herr) Houser was speaking/listening on this candlestick phone in 1919 at the time Mother was a year old.  Credit: Mennonite Women of Lancaster County, Joanne Hess Siegrist, 1996, page 89.

The last photo I snapped of Mother with her finger hovering over my iPhone captures the moment she looked up momentarily from “paging” through photos of her grand-children and great grand-children.


David Whyte, Crossing the Unknown Sea

The death of someone closest to us is always a form of salutation, a simultaneous Goodbye to their physical presence and a deep Hello to a more intimate imaginal relationship now beginning to form in their absence.  (46)

A “deep Hello to a more intimate imaginal relationship”? We’ll see . . .

“Her children rise up and call her blessed.” Prov. 31:28
 Christ Church Frederica, St. Simon’s Island – Tiffany glass

Have you experienced the death of your mother or grandmother? If a mother, is there a word for one’s status now, bereft of a mother and father? Your suggestions always appreciated here.

Coming next: The Longenecker Sisters’ Road Trip, Part 1


Purple Passages and Fine China


La Lectura es el viaje de los que no pueden tomar el tren.        – F. Croisset

(Reading is the journey of those who cannot take the train.)

Marian Reading_14mos._2x4_300

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested . . . .           Sir Francis Bacon  “Of Studies”

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.     Groucho Marx

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.    Oscar Wilde


When we laugh, a sort of temporary anesthesia is released within us that blocks the pain as our attention is diverted.      Chuck Swindoll in Five Meaningful Minutes a Day

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.    Audrey Hepburn


Friendship is delicate as [china], once broken it can be fixed but there will always be cracks.    Waqar Ahmed

Pitcher Broken

It’s a wise husband who will buy his wife such fine china that she won’t trust him to wash the dishes.    – Honoré de Balzac


I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you till China and Africa meet and the river jumps over the mountain and salmon sing in the street.      – W. H. Auden

We have a week and a half left of work and we are like delicate china speeding toward a brick wall. Sounds fun, huh?     – Jennifer Anniston

Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.     

                   Mary Manin Morrissey

A comment? Another quotation? Both are welcome here!

Purple Passages with Pictures: February 2014 edition

Grapefruit Harvest in February
Grapefruit Harvest in February

Think of February as God’s special gift of time sandwiched between all the hubbub of past holidays and the upcoming arrival of a busy spring. To me, February is the ideal month to regroup . . . to review where I’ve been and to rethink where I’m going. I have found it is the best time of the entire year to pause for several concentrated weeks of deliberate reflection.

Chuck Swindoll, Insight for Living 1999

February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March. — Dr. J. R. Stockton


Marionettes from Prague - Books from all over
Marionettes from Prague – Books from all over

MUSIC: The Mozart Effect (Notes from Lecture)  March 2000


Classical music, like Mozart or Hayden stimulates Beta waves suited for high-quality, analytical thinking.

Jazz: like Miles Davis or John Coltraine, creates order from chaos, good for thinking that does not lend itself to simple linear solution. Generates theta waves: highly creative brain consciousness associated with out-of-the-box creativity, spiritual insight.

Rock: Makes a statement about TIME, especially suited to people who need to be vigilant like those in an inner city environment. Sharpens awareness!

New Age / Alternative: Music organized around SPACE; suited for people who live in a highly mental structure.

Music creates a current on which images flow. It can catch an image in its nets so it can be looked at, analyzed.    Glamour, January 1999


I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten, happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead one after another.       Brenda Ueland

stringing beads

And frame your mind to mirth and merriment / Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.”  Wm. Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew 

We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.  Anais Nin

Your turn:  

Add a quote? Comment on one or two you have just read?

Coming next: Do You Know Your Ethnic Mix?

Purple Passages with Pictures, January 2014 edition

VISIONS and DREAMS for 2014

courtesy Google Images
courtesy Google Images

A man must have dreams–memory dreams of the past and eager dreams of the future. I never want to stop reaching for new goals. – Maurice Chevalier

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.        Habakkuk 2:2   New King James Version (NKJV)

Between your dream‘s inspiration and its manifestation, there’s going to be a lot of perspiration.     Daily Devotional: The Word for you Today, January 2, 2014 entry

A [wo]man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.  John Barrymore


Yesterday is today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.  Kahlil Gibran

Memory is the script of the soul.  Aristototle

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our [grand]children. Charles R. Swindoll


God gave us memory so we might have roses in December, (January, February  . . )

From my JOURNALS 1996-1998

Gratitude is the heart’s memory.  French proverb

Puttering is creating a fresh interior landscape.   Sarah Ban Breathnach in Simple Abundance

Women share with men the need for personal success, even the taste for power, and no longer are we willing to satisfy those needs through the achievements of surrogates, whether husbands, children or merely role models.       Elizabeth Dole

On Music:

“The auditory nerve is very closely connected to the limbic system so that sound (i.e. music) does not have to go through the cortex of the brain but goes directly to the heart, the senses.”     unknown source  (noted April 9, 1998)


Rhythm in music imprints language on the brain in a way pure auditory words will not. Slower tempo in classical music develops a framework for learning to occur. NPR report on “The Mozart Effect” (1998)


What Makes a Moonbeam Audible for you?

Feel free to comment also on any of the categories about: visions, dreams, memory, music, or something else. I will always reply!

Still time to vote for my story in Sonia Marsh’s My Gutsy Story Contest. Thank you, thank you to all who have already voted. You make a difference!

To Vote:

To Read:


Voting closes at 12:00 midnight PST, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.