Fly While You Still Have Wings: And Other Lessons My Resilient Mother Taught Me

Book, 2015, 203 pp
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In this heartfelt memoir about her mother Hilda's final years, Joyce Rupp shares the lessons her mother taught her, especially to “fly while you still have wings.” As a poor farmer's wife and the mother of eight living on rented land in Maryhill, Iowa, Hilda lived a life of hard labor and constant responsibility—from milking cows and raising chickens to keeping the farm's financial ledger. Rupp shows how the difficulties of her mother's early years and family life, including the loss of a twenty-three-year-old son, forged a resilience that guided her through the illnesses and losses she faced in later years. This affectionate profile of their relationship is, at the same time, an honest self-examination, as Rupp shares the ways she sometimes failed to listen to, accept, and understand her mother in her final years.

Rupp begins each chapter with a meditative poem that captures the essence of each stage in the journey. Her unfailing candor and profound faith illumine this story of a mother and daughter with a universal spirit of hope, reconciliation, and peace.

Includes Reader's Guide with questions for reflection/discussion.

"Far more than a memoir of her mother's death, Joyce Rupp's remarkable book speaks healing words through God's world of wonder: the beauty of everyday things. Robbed of one mother's presence, the heart still soars, God empowers us. We still have wings. We fly." - Emilie Griffin, author of Souls in Full Sail: A Christian Spirituality for Later Years

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