Momma Mia

5989294_oMy mother was a woman who spoke several languages, but she never learned her heavenly language, therefore, she was unable to connect with the God of the Bible. Born as an only child, in a small Heidi like village called Shuen Ecken, in the Eiffel mountains of Germany, my mother Maria Herzig Crane inherited the strength and spirit to survive a brutal war.  Momma Mia was strong willed and unyielding in her determination to live according to her beliefs. She was an unwanted child who did not receive affection from her estranged mother or her rigid aunts. God revealed insights into her difficult upbringing and He gave me the necessary grace and compassion to love on my mother. It was difficult for her to say words of love or show any compassion.     Her real beauty shined as she remained true to herself.  She never followed the latest fashion for she was a trend setter in that regard.  She had a confident presence that persuaded many to rise above any labels ascribed.  My dad was from Little Rock, Arkansas and he proudly brought his German bride home from the war to his family.  Coming from a small German farming community, it was difficult for Mom to adjust to her new life in California.  She adapted Mamma Mia 2018to her new country, the foreign tongue and her in-laws.  Mom was never completely accepted by my dad’s family.  There was a general sour feeling about German people, and my mom was met as a trespasser on American soil.  My mother was hungry for acceptance and love and she did her best to live as a conventional, acceptable wife and mother. She was not a cook, nor did she play bridge or indulge in any hobbies until after she was 60 years old.  She did not tolerate whining or complaining, for her it was about working and getting the task at hand completed.  As a child we were never given a chance to be bored as she assigned all of her tribe responsibilities.  Our chores and our homework had to be finished before we could go outside to play.  I learned that my Mother was not allowed to cry as a child, and that she was hidden 5988996_obehind the counter of the family coffee shop. She had silky blue eyes that perceived the world as she would have it.  Her hair was thin and her mind was sharp.  Mom was a voracious reader and never blase about anything.  She loved a good mystery and her thirsty mind soaked up books on a vast array of subjects. She loved the Vienna waltz and composers that never produced a shrill sound. Being the youngest of three children I believe that I grew to know her more deeply than my siblings. We were neighbors in the Napa Valley and our visits were frequent. 47545-love-1john31Mom moved back to Germany in 1975 and in 1979 I traveled to meet her new groom James Crane. After many hours of persuasion, Mom relented and took me to visit Shuen Ecken. Enjoying coffee and cake with Lily (a neighbor who took care of grandma Barbara Herzig) they joyfully reminisced in German,  and I inspected the grounds outside to find a memento.  I pulled a rusted lock from the decrepit, abandoned, out-of-service wooden outhouse. Mom was a painter of all things odd, and a collector of post-cards. My sister and I spread Mom’s ashes near Bell Rock in Arizona.  We said our FINAL good-byes in February 2016.18403711_10211173310621344_1542525205658081506_n

Wearing Momma Mia’s rings on Mothers Day 2020.

Momma was a globe trotting artist, an activist, a writer, a seeker of truth, a legal German immigrant who survived war.  I marvel at mom’s determined spirit and I thank God that He chose her to be my mother. Love never departs, Love never dies, Love prevails.

I love you Momma RIP March 2016

Family Reflections


via Daily Prompt: Final

11 thoughts on “Momma Mia

  1. It is with tremendous love that I write to my Momma Mia on July 18, 2017. My beloved mother, was a grandmother to Jason, David, Blake and Eric. She was a great-grandmother to Marissa, and a friend to many around the globe. She was an extraordinary artist, stellar expat from Germany living the American dream. It brings me profound peace that God swiftly brought His Angels and softly took mom to His embrace on March 3, 2016. “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah” will be playing when we meet in the heavenly realm. No person I know had a bigger passion for learning than Momma Mia did. My prayer is that everyone who was touched by my mother will see the source of her true joy. Jesus loved Momma Mia and I trust the truth about God and His promises “once saved always saved”. Momma Mia asked me to bring my bible with me on once particular visit when she lived in Santa Rosa. In response to my prayer, God sent other Christians to minister to my mom’s searching soul. We read some verses and discussed salvation. I had led my mother in the “open your heart to Jesus” prayer and gave her a bible many, many years ago. I am just praising God for the undeserved mercy and grace He delivers unto us all. Today I am moved to celebrate Momma Mia’s entrance into glory!!! The peace that surpasses all understanding is now my mother’s for all eternity. May each of you be “Blessed and Highly Favored” today as you reflect on your loved ones who have gone onto GLORY!

    Much love and peace to you all,
    Barbara Hoyle


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