In which my Mum told me stories


My mum had a backache the whole day long. She was four days overdue, but that wasn’t stopping her. She went out and about for the whole day, visiting her parents, her in-laws, puttering around the house. But her water broke at eleven that night, just as she was wearily dropping into sleep, and so my parents drove to the old Pasqua Hospital in Regina. She gave birth to her first baby, a little girl, at 6:56 a.m. and, oh, she laughed and laughed. Her young red-haired husband cried, and they took pictures with a Polaroid camera. Those pictures have faded, the frame is nearly empty now, just a ghost-image of the joy of the day remains.

When she had her second baby two years later, labour went very quickly – just three hours. After all, she was ten days overdue. When she checked into the hospital close to midnight, the doctor solemnly asked  if she was at all comfortable with the attendence of perhaps a student or two to observe her delivery, no pressure of course, Mrs. Styles. She laughed and invited the entire class of serious medical students to line up in the room, and then she chattered and laughed so incessantly that the doctor finally had to beg her to be quiet and focus. After her daughter was born at 2:13 a.m. weighing nearly 9lbs, the students applauded and they lined up to shake her hand before they left. “Mrs. Styles,” they all said, “we never knew giving birth could be this fun!” She was nearly high with adrenaline and excitement, with her own sense of power and strength. She was made to be a mother. She knew it, her husband knew it, and her girls grew up knowing it.

These are the stories of how my sister and I came into the world. I have them memorized because my mother has spent most of my life, telling us stories of our lives, her own life, my father’s life, my grandparents’ lives, all the way back.

Read the rest of this post over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s site. (I love Lisa-Jo. She’s the real deal and I’m absolutely honoured to hang out at her place as part of her beautiful series on What Mama Did.)

  • Juanita Dueck

    Is it weird that the most exciting thing in this post was “Pasqua Hospital in Regina”? :) I will go take a picture for you of what it looks like now.

  • Beth Anderson

    I am so glad that I stumbled across your blog tonight! I just keep reading more and more posts, because I’m so excited to have found someone who really speaks to a lot of my … stuff… about the church. :) Ahhh, your blog is such a breath of fresh air! I have two littles to tend to tomorrow or I would stay up all night reading it, because it is truly refreshing. Thank you for sharing *your* stories! <3

  • Amber Wolf

    Sarah! This is beautiful. maybe I’m crying a little over here. what a wonderful treasure that is!

  • James Prescott

    I love your story-filled, creative way of sharing deep truths with us Sarah. It is truly unique. It is a profound truth that everyday stories can often tell us more about God than any theories we read in books or Phd theses. And you share these stories so beautifully. Thanks for letting us a little into your world…