Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

Motherhood and Apple Pie


by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Mother’s Day stirred up a favourite memory from my childhood: going on the Horseshoe Bay Ferry over to the Sunshine Coast, where my Grandma always served us  freshly baked, hot apple pie.  Grandma Hird baked some of the tastiest apple pies that I’ve ever eaten.  But she always apologized about her apple pies, saying that the pastry didn’t turn out just right, or that she hadn’t baked enough pies for us.  Our family usually needed to go on a diet for three weeks, just to recover from a weekend of Grandma Hird’s delicious cooking!  Grandma always would tell us how fortunate she was to have such wonderful neighbours.  She would comment on how caring and friendly they were to her.  Whoever you were, Grandma Hird always made you feel special.  With such a gift of hospitality, it was no wonder that so many young children in the neighbourhood  ‘adopted’ her as their own grandma.

Even though she couldn’t read a note of music, Grandma Olive was an excellent pianist.  As her eyesight became worse and she went into a care facility,  her greatest regret was that she couldn’t play the piano any more, or bake apple pies for us.  Grandma was such a loving person that she loved to give generously to others, and it hurt when she couldn’t.  When my family and I would visit Grandma in the nursing home, she used to give our 3 boys money to go to MacDonald’s.  She’d say: “I so miss not being able to cook apple pies for you, like when Grandpa was alive.”  Grandma Hird really missed her husband since he’d passed away.

Grandma Olive didn’t have an easy life.  She had to quit school at age 15 to look after her 3 younger brothers.  Her mother, who was an Ensign in the Salvation Army and knew William & Catherine Booth personally, had died suddenly in the 1918 flu epidemic.  Her father was away overseas at war.  So Grandma Olive had to function as “the mother” to her younger brothers for the next six years until her father remarried.  She had a tough time understanding why such a wonderful woman as her mother would be taken from her.  But she never stopped trusting that she would meet her Mom some day in heaven.  Years later, when my Grandma’s sight was going, she gave me her mother’s bible.  I have always treasured this gift, as it includes some actual sermons and poems written by her mom.  ‘The cross is a mystery’, wrote her mother, ‘until you take it up.’  Grandma Olive knew from personal experience that being a mother often involves taking up unexpected crosses in one’s life.

When Grandma Olive died in 1990, I had the unique privilege of taking her funeral service.  It was a hard thing to do, but also very meaningful.  Years later, I give thanks for what a loving, gracious grandmother she was to me.  When I wonder why my father learned to respect women, I know that it came from his deep respect for his mother Olive who totally devoted her life to her family.  I firmly believe that much of my father’s self-confidence as an adult came from the unshakable conviction that he was unconditionally loved by his mother.  As Grandma Olive was gradually dying, her Doctor often visited her. He said that she was a majestic lady, and that whenever he came to see her, he went away feeling better.  Even in the last stages of death, Grandma Olive had the ability to comfort and calm those around her.

I will always remember the last private communion service that I had with Grandma Olive, a week before she died..  She participated very intensely in the service, although greatly weakened physically. As I spoke of Jesus’ loving death for us, she nodded her head continually and then said: “I’m ready to go.  I want to be with Grandpa, my parents, and my friends.”  One of her last few words were: “.I am so fortunate.  I have such a good  family and friends”.  Then she said, “I love you very much.”  Grandma Olive was not afraid to die, because she believed in the truth of Easter.  Grandma knew that love was stronger than death.  This Mother’s Day,  I want to thank God for all the mothers, like Grandma Olive, who unselfishly devote their lives to their families.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin. 

St. Simon’s  Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide


Author: edhird

I am the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C., having served there since 1987. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was the Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials http://www3.telus.net/st_simons/arm05.htm For the past 26 years, I have been privileged to write over 400 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to lead conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Toronto. My new sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx . In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx . It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook). Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus' healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life. In order to obtain a copy of the prequel book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', please send a $18.50 cheque to 'Ed Hird', #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. For more info, please click on www3.telus.net/st_simons/nsnews030.html

8 thoughts on “Motherhood and Apple Pie

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  8. Reblogged this on Edhird's Blog and commented:

    Has Motherhood become disconnected from Apple pie?


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