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Finding Mom

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Finding Mom.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Stephen C. Messer(Author)

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Finding Mom is a story of tragedy, secrets, and forgiveness. As a six-year-old, Steve Messer found his mother's body after she committed suicide in 1961, and for the next fifty years, he and his family lived in silence about her death and her life. This book chronicles the physical and emotional journey the author and his wife took to find his mother again, but this time as a fully human woman instead of a haunting figure shrouded in silence, this time as the mom who deeply loved her son in the midst of her deepening depression. Responding to a gentle but unmistakable nudge from the Lord, leaning on supportive family members, and utilizing his training as a historian, Messer spent six months gathering documents and images, interviewing individuals who knew his mother, and traveling to sites associated with her life. The physical journey culminated with two family gatherings that welcomed Marian Pett Messer back after the decades of silence, but the emotional journey of new-found understandings of family, grace, forgiveness, and what it means to be human will continue for a lifetime.

''What a beautiful, moving book! Steve Messer has taken his training as a historian and applied it to his own life story in a way that is humane, generous, and finally transformative. Finding Mom begins when a six-year-old boy loses his mother to suicide, but it doesn't end until he finds her again, fifty years later, after the most important research project of a lifetime.''--Thom Satterlee, author of The Stages''I have no words to convey the gentle power, the stunning beauty, the deep humanity, and the rich understanding of the Christian gospel embedded in this book. For while the suicide of Messer's mother takes us to the heart of the human condition, Messer's remarkable journey takes us to the heart of the gospel message--that God's compassionate grace can renew and transform us, even in the face of unspeakable loss.''--Richard T. Hughes, author of The Vocation of the Christian Scholar --Wipf and Stock Publishers Stephen C. Messer is a suicide survivor and Professor of History at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. His primary academic interests are African American History and the cultural landscape of the civil rights movement.

3.2 (8976)
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Book details

  • PDF | 126 pages
  • Stephen C. Messer(Author)
  • Resource Publications (February 13, 2015)
  • English
  • 5
  • Religion & Spirituality

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Review Text

  • By CS on June 2, 2015

    This may be the bravest book I’ve ever read. It is the story of a little boy, a grown man, a brilliant historian and scholar, a sojourner on a quest, a dear friend of mine and an extended family as they break fifty years of silence over the suicide of that boy’s mother. Personally knowing the adult historian as a friend made this journey even more jolting and unsettling. And even more healing and hopeful. Six year old Steve Messer found his mother dead, hanging from the back of a bathroom door. Because it was 1961, and for myriad other reasons, this incident was largely concealed. That fact helped to transform a happy little boy into a depressed perfectionist…and a brilliantly curious scholar. Dr. Messer never once lashes out at those who kept entirely or mostly silent. I think that amazed me most as I read of his pilgrimage to “find Mom”. Without sugar coating, he extends uncommon grace and mercy to everyone named in his story – his mother, father, extended family – and most emollient of all, himself. At various points in the book, you discover not only the interior beauty and strength of this man, but of his wife also. Betty is portrayed in this account as I know her: wise, welcoming, strong and compassionate. Finding Mom by Stephen C. Messer contains such an important message about suicide and survival. I strongly recommend it for clergy and counselors, parents, people struggling with depression and those who love them. You will find no easy remedies or “ten steps to happiness” in Finding Mom. You will, however, discover a grace that “doesn’t freeze frame us at our worst moments”.

  • By Guest on December 19, 2016

    This book is a true story about a boy's life long struggle with the suicide of his mother; being the one who found her. Mr. Messer openly shares about the decades of silence about his mother's death and growing up with the negative social stigma her of suicide. After decades of emotional turmoil, Mr. Messer embarks on the difficult personal journey of "finding" his mom; the woman that he never knew and was rarely spoken about. He uses his experience as a professor of history to research her past, find clues about her life and come to a new understanding of who she was. Mr. Messer also is able to engage his father in this difficult journey into the past and help him come to terms with one of the greatest losses of his life.I recommend this book for those who have been touched by suicide in one form or another in their lives. Sometimes knowing that others have travelled the same path and somehow made it through is all you need to put one foot in front of the other.

  • By Jerry N. on April 16, 2015

    I am a Christian counselor. I read about the work that God did in Stephen's life as I worked through his book. I will be recommending this one to my clients for a long time to come. Stephen, I am so glad you slowed down to Find Mom. In turn, you will bless many.


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