A Tale of Two Moms

15 06 2014

My Lady Cathy is a unique and talented individual in many aspects of life. Besides being incredibly beautiful (and no prejudice in thImageat remark what so ever!) she has been a wonderful wife, mother and now grandmother. Moving beyond that Cathy is very intelligent, out of a class of 500 in school she graduated 4th. She is highly skilled in economics, which was a blessing during some hard times in the Miller household. Also my Lady is a skilled mathematician, bookkeeper and accountant. She plays the piano wonderfully, but her real musical gift is her voice which many believe (yours truly included) could have carried her into a career in music. (That wasn’t her interest which today I’m very thankful for!) One of her greatest attributes is anyone who meets Cathy likes her the minute they come into contact; she has a way of making folks feel comfortable and happy to be around her. All that definitely makes her a special gal, but there’s something else that makes her quite unique, she was blessed with two moms who she’s had wonderful relationships with both. Okay, let’s get to the story line.

Cathy was born in Columbus but shortly after birth was moved to Tiffin Ohio, not to live in normal home setting like most of us, but into an orphanage where she spent her first 3½ years of life. It wasn’t until that latter point that she was adopted and became the daughter of Clyde and Bette Lenhart. This truly could be called a match made in Heaven. The Lenharts had long tried to adopt, not being able to have any of their own it was their only hope of having children. The process had been long, years waiting and hoping to hear there was a child for them somewhere. It wasn’t until out of the blue they got a call from this orphanage in Tiffin saying they had a child but they would have to come right then. They didn’t have to tell them twice, probably made the 26 mile drive faster than they ever had in the past! There’s actually another story that could be told right here, but I’ll just stick to the important, a little girl went home that evening to become Cathy Lou Lenhart, loving daughter of Clyde and Bette! Bette was able to be a stay at home mom so she and Cathy grew close quickly and as the relationship grew Bette taught Cathy many things such as sewing and clothes making. Then Lenharts started little Cathy going to church and Sunday school right away and it wasn’t long before she asked Jesus into her heart, something she has cherished and held on to these many years later. One thing that Clyde and Bette did and had a strong conviction about was they let Cathy know she had been adopted and that it made her special. Bette made this point not only in actions as a good mother does, but with a poem she gave Cathy; “Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you didn’t grow under my heart, but in it!”  Cathy did grow up knowing she was special, but not just because she was adopted, but knowing she had a dad and mom who loved her more than words could begin to describe, she found great joy in God for giving her such loving parents.

But what about the other one, the other mom? What’s that story, who was she, where is she today, does she ever think of Cathy? These are questions I imagine most adopted children have about a past and person they know nothing about, but still so much apart of them. Cathy did have these questions, but they weren’t important enough to dwell on in her younger years, after all, she was very happy where she was and who she belonged to.

But still the questions would linger even if they were ever so slightly in her mind. When we married we discussed this topic on numerous occasions and I would ask if she wanted me to help her mind her hidden past. The answer was always the same, “No, but if I change my mind I’ll let you know.” That time came when Cathy was 33 and decided the time was right. “I don’t expect to really find out anything but if you can, I think I’m ready.”

Don’t ask because it’s a whole extra story to go into on how two weeks after that conversation my friend and I acquired all the information on the birth mother of Mary Catherine, Cathy’s first given name. I’m just going to call it the leading of the Lord, with a little fast talk at a county courthouse vault. I’ll write about that sometime, just got to make sure the statute of limitations has run out! (Just kidding, kinda) So what was the story with the mystery mother, did she not want her child or what? Well to cut straight to the chase it’s one of the greatest stories of love I’ve ever seen and heard. You see this mother looked upon her infant daughter with tears of happiness for just how beautiful she was. And what were her thoughts? Same as any mother, she wanted her child to have the best life growing up she could receive. Unfortunately, she also knew for that to happen it would have to be with someone else, for you see this mother, was no more than a child herself, fourteen years old. In 1953 it was hard enough for a single adult mother to fend for her family alone, let alone a child mother. So for a few short days she held and caressed her baby out of love for her; then she let her go, out of even deeper love. I read this quote from a fellow writer, “Mothers have a special way of saying, ‘I love you’, A love that God has given them, A love that will hold true. For Mothers sacrifice so much, Providing for the home, Creating there an atmosphere That reflects God’s love alone.” As I pondered these words I realized something, this describes both of Cathy’s moms. The mother who gave her life loved her so much that she was willing to sacrifice her own happiness by giving up Cathy so that she might have a better home; that came in the form of Bette who loved her daughter so much she dedicated her to the Lord. If that’s not a double barrel dose of Motherly Love, I don’t know what is. Awesome!!

While looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things,” another writer concluded, “When it comes to the Bible’s most well-known passage on love, mothers are beautiful examples of the high calling of love that is described.” When looking at these two incredible self-sacrificing Ladies in my Lady’s life I can do nothing but agree and thank God they were there for her. Two more “Travelers of the Rock Road,” one has ended her earthly walk and has gone Home while the other continues on having confidence that one day she too will be Home. To look at what they contributed to the world would be minimal compared to others of great reputation, but to look at what the gave in love and sacrifice to one person, one daughter they shared, so that her road would be easier; I guess I’ll just end with a little levity by saying when it comes to heroism, Top That, John Wayne!!

See ya next week!


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