Celebrating Catholic Motherhood

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So You Want to be a Mother?

a Catholic Parenting series by Susan Handle Terbay




Ready for more inspiration?

We invite you to visit Susan's wonderful website for additional poetry, stories and reflections - click here.  To contact Susan, e-mail her at [email protected] 

Additional Catholic Mom Columns


Special People Who Enter Our Lives

A friend of mine who used to work at a hospice in another state 'introduced' me to a young man through email. The young man's name is Victor Alverez - and he has a website so if you google his name I'm sure you will find it.

During my work at hospice I too encountered a young man who was dying who became such a part of my life that he has forever changed my life both physically and spiritually. His outlook on life taught me about hope, love and faith - and yet the reality of his life revealed despair, indifference and abandonment. On his last day on this earth, I held his hand and thanked him for teaching me through his eyes as a child and he squeezed my hand and smiled.

So when I 'met' Victor I found myself once again being taught about hope, love and faith from a young heart, a young person, a person far wiser than many of longer life spans. Victor was left to die in a hospice when he was a small child and he is now attending college but his physical condition is so limited and yet his heart is larger than this world. He never knows if today is his last day - so he lives each day as though it is his last day - much like all of us should do. I want to share a part of his wisdom with all of you - below is an exert from one of his many columns/articles he writes:

...I know what I want my obituary to say. In fact, I wrote my own obituary for an English class when I was about 14. I know that when I die, I want to be remembered for doing things for people, for helping others, for having a voice, for making a difference, for taking the road less traveled as Robert Frost says in his poem.

When people whine and say life is hard, I tell them, "I dare you to dream." There's a lot of truth to the idea that you manifest your own reality. You become what you want to be.

... As the poet Carl Sandburg says, "Nothing happens but first the dream." Victor Alverez.


By Susan Handle Terbay


Recent Archives:

Part I - Human Trafficking
Part II - Human Trafficking
Part III - Human Trafficking


Click on titles for additional information

Susan Handle Terbay is co-author of Gifts: Two Hospice Professionals
Reveal Messages From Those Passing On
.  She is the mother of six and also a grandmother.  Susan serves as administrative assistant to the deputy superintendent of the Catholic Schools Office for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Amazing Grace for Mothers features a story by Susan about the death of her own mother.  She shares, "There is a sisterhood among women who lose their mothers as a child. It is a pivotal moment that leaves a hole in your heart that never gets filled; an emptiness and longing. The title of my story is In Search of my Mother. All my life I have searched for her in other women. That moment in my life changed me forever and has created the path I now journey. Through my work with children's grief groups I was able to reach out and understand their pain and tried to give them hope to continue their paths."

A Mother's Rule of Life:  How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul
by Holly Pierlot
Read More about this Book Club Selection

Susan shares the following about her writing:

As I look back over my life I have come to some profound conclusions. The most valuable gift both given and received is love. Throughout my life I have been blest with the wisdom of children, the wisdom of the elderly and especially the wisdom of the dying. Not one person on their death bed wished they had made more money or worked more hours. They all wished they would have spent more time with their loved ones, enjoyed the beauty of this world and taken a chance to love someone. I learned so much in my life and have faced some difficult challenges. I hope that maybe something I write touches another and reminds someone they are never alone in this world - someone understands, someone has been down the same path and always God is within each of us. Of all the experiences in my life the greatest gifts I have ever received were six precious lives who came into my life and forever changed me. . From the moment each were placed in my arms at their birth, my children have taught me about life and love. Now the gifts continue with my beautiful grandchildren as I await to listen to their stories yet to be told, and their wisdom yet to be learned. Motherhood is a gift - something to be treasured - always.

Susan Handle Terbay


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