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My Mom's Brother Cut Her Thumb Off with an Axe

One of the best views in the house is from the choir loft where one can watch parishioners, old and young, arrive for Holy Mass. Widows and widowers, and older couples arrive and seat themselves in a favorite spot. Younger families arrive, many times without dad, who is still circling the block looking for a parking space.

I watch dads and moms with kids snuggling up, hoping to get the coveted mom or dad pat-on-the back or the most coveted of all, putting your head in mom’s lap while she strokes your hair. I loved that when I was a kid!

It is interesting to watch parents and grandparents using different techniques to help squirming children settle down. I remember my mom’s technique well!

Now, about my mom’s thumb… She was helping her older brother cut firewood and put her hand in the wrong place at the wrong time. He cut her thumb off to the nubby first knuckle. Little did she know that one day she would use that strong still-remaining first knuckle of her thumb to herd four children into the car for church, or as a behavior modification tool when needing to control little squirming boys during the homily. All she had to do was take that stubby knuckle and her second finger, grab a little bit of flesh on our little legs, and we were instant dead meat. It was like a Mom-Taser.

Moms and dads, keep doing what you are doing! Remember to show the younger ones how to use their ordo (worship aid). Help them follow along when we are singing! Singing counts as praying!

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