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“Parent Trap” podcast. A terminal mormon mother wrote future letters to her daughter, compelling her to stay in the church.
 
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From This American Life (I hope I can make the linky thingy work):

 

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1340

 

This is Act One (after the Prologue), 9-1/2 minutes into the podcast.

 

A dying mother wrote letters to be given to her daughter on future birthdays and her wedding day. As the daughter grew up and moved away from mormonism, her dead mother's continued pressure to stay true to the church and marry in the temple became more and more oppressive.

 

 

 


 

 

 
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I actually could see how the church would eventually think that faithful parents writing their kids "future testimony time capsules" would be like a great idea.  Many parents are already reduced to begging their kids to stay in the church (my parents included) so this would simply do what the church does best and turn it into a program.  Imagine, dads and moms in a 3rd hour combined session splitting off into pairs where they all work on letters to each of their kids.  Of course the church would provide letter "outlines" for parents to follow depending on the future age of the child.

 

It reminds me of a movie called Things to Do in Denver when you Dead.  In it, Andy Garcia runs a company where terminally ill people create videos of themselves giving advice to the various people in their lives they are leaving behind.

 

In some ways, the church has rendered tbm parents terminally ill.

 

If any of you have seen the movie, I would love to send Critical Bill (Treat Williams) to pay a visit to a top 15 meeting:

 

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I should have known better
when I caught you wild;
you were incredible,
Never knew you like I know you now,
You are illegible,
Imperceptible the lines that form the screw.


It Kills
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzyuivDVMGo

 
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Uh......psychologically speaking......my life aint so bad.

 

thanks for the perspective.

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Cogito Ergo Sum = “I think, therefore I am.” (Descartes) The latin word “Cogito” is also a play on words. Co=together, Gito=shake….a second meaning of the phrase is, “I shake things up, therefore I am.” (Greary.)

 
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Thanks for posting this.  I heard it this weekend but only caught the end of her story, but all of Lucy's (also a great story).  I had no idea what Rebecca's story was about.  Wow. 

 

I lost my father when I was a kid and before he died (he also knew it was terminal) he wrote his life history.  On the rare occasion that I read it, it's a very similar experience to Rebecca's.  He wrote it with his youngest children in mind (me & my bro), knowing we wouldn't have him there as we grew up unlike our older siblings did.  It has bits of advice along his hopes and expectations for us.   It's hard to disappoint a parent, but even harder when their views of things are frozen in time. 

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Oh, wow. Parental pressure from beyond the grave.
 
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Lloyd Dobler:

I actually could see how the church would eventually think that faithful parents writing their kids "future testimony time capsules" would be like a great idea. 

 

There was a time when I would have done that. I'd never have believed my world view could change as radically as it has.

 


 

 
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Jackie H:
Lloyd Dobler:

I actually could see how the church would eventually think that faithful parents writing their kids "future testimony time capsules" would be like a great idea. 

 

There was a time when I would have done that. I'd never have believed my world view could change as radically as it has.

 


 

 

No doubt.  I would have totally done it.  Hell, i would have got on my knees and prayed to god to help me write the things that my children will need to hear at that time in their life.  I would have asked for guidance by the HG and on and on.  I think oaks parental tough love talk last conference may be an indication of some upcoming rhetoric.  I mean the only group they really have a FIRM grip on is the over 50+ crowd.  They largely own those people.  IMO they are the real backbone of the church and time and again are relied upon and whipped to "do more" etc.  I would not be suprised to the lazy ass brethren to go the the well again with this group in order to get their kids back in church. 

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I should have known better
when I caught you wild;
you were incredible,
Never knew you like I know you now,
You are illegible,
Imperceptible the lines that form the screw.


It Kills
Afghan Whigs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzyuivDVMGo

 
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How very sad.

Being a parent is hard.  You want to do what's best for your kids but what you think is best for them isn't always the best thing.

As a parent, I hope I never inadvertantly cause pain this way.

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The thought comes to mind (evil, of course) that the mother who was dying was so full of guilt and afraid, so she had to sacrifice her children's mental health to the church. The fear is so palpable in her "demands" for staying inside.
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I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
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A coworker came to talk to me about this today. She grew up Roman Catholic in Romania, and she feels a lot of the same pressures from her family. She said she wouldn't have thought twice about it but we have talked about religion on walks in the past, and she could really identify with the story.

 

It's hard to know that being true to yourself means disappointing your parents.

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I so love "This American Life", Ira Glass, and especially Sarah Vowel and David Sedaris. I love their stories, the research and depth of detail. I've listened to the podcasts clear back to 2004 and just eat this stuff up.

 

THis is a very compelling story. The one right before it is equally interesting and reminds me that Mormons don't hold the corner on screwed up parents who go on to screw up their kids in screwed up ways.

 

My youngest daughter was still in YW last year and her YW leader called me and invited me to an event where the mothers were to come and help prepare their daughters for a future temple marriage. this woman KNOWS that I'm no longer a member and that the arrangement between her father and I is barely civil. She is completely clueless to my deep contempt for all things temple and I didn't think it was the right time or place to cue her in on all that. So I begged off, making up a number of lame excuses that would keep me out of the event so she finally asked me to just write my daughter a private letter that she could read that would help her in her future temple marriage plans.

 

So i wrote a letter to my fun loving charming cute daughter and told her how I was so excited for her future, her bubbly happiness, how her personality just added all the fizz in the pop of life and that someday some man is going to see her with the same delight I do, and then if they fell in genuine love, they may get married. I told her how important it was to find a man of her own choosing, that fits her own ideals and goals in life and not let anyone pressure her to settling for anything less than true love.

 

I told her that she could be fertile till her mid 30s so to not be in such a hurry to have kids unless thats what she really wanted. I counseled her to make sure she and her husband had time to really get to know each other, to enjoy the wonders of their marriage and just delight in the two of them. I told her that a happy healthy marriage was the best thing they could ever give to their kids or each other. I told her that my fondest dream for her was to be happy, no matter how or where she got there.

 

I didn't mention the temple or her wedding. That's her business. If she does marry in the temple I will be cut out of the scene but I'll still have the rest of her life to enjoy her and her future man, (or woman, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a man). If they have kids thats great, but if they don't, I know I had a wonderful set of experiences with her. If she just adopts fur babies, that's good too. Pet Smart caters to grandparents of fur babies too.

 
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Dahli-mama:

 

I told her that she could be fertile till her mid 30s so to not be in such a hurry to have kids unless thats what she really wanted.

 

A lot of women aren't aware that fertility peaks and then starts to decline at 27.

True, a woman in her early 30s usually won't have anything to worry about as far as fertility goes.

I guess it depends on how many children she want.  Personally, I think we all owe it to the planet to stop at two.

But I watched an Oprah where a lot of women placed school and career first and waited far to long to have children and were very disappointed when they learned that they couldn't.

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Ugh. Sickening.  Sadly, I can see my mom doing this.

 

hartlyn 

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Apostate, I'm not worried at all about my daughters popping out babies too late. The women in my family have some sort of screaming uterui that just sends out signals into the ethernet to fill them up with babies.  Of my nieces and niece in laws, they've been squeezing them off every year or so without batting an eye. My own daughter has one of those uterui and i suspect it's just a matter of a few years before she graces me with a grandbaby. Most of them are done by the time they're thirty, having squoze off 4-8 before their 30th birthday.

 

You know what they say, "Why do LDS women stop having children at 30?  because 31 is just too many. ".

 
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Thanks for posting that...I lost my mother a few years ago. I must say that it was moving.

 

Losing a parent is a hard thing, especially as you are on the cusp of adulthood. Like Rebecca, my Mom had expectations of me but they were not imposed on me through letters. I was able to grieve and move on. But those letters forced her to live with her mother's death for years and years after the fact. I think of all the pain that I went through when Mom died, and I can't imagine the pain that would be imposed by a reoccuring plea from the grave. 

 

 

 
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Dahli-mama:

Apostate, I'm not worried at all about my daughters popping out babies too late. The women in my family have some sort of screaming uterui that just sends out signals into the ethernet to fill them up with babies.  Of my nieces and niece in laws, they've been squeezing them off every year or so without batting an eye. My own daughter has one of those uterui and i suspect it's just a matter of a few years before she graces me with a grandbaby. Most of them are done by the time they're thirty, having squoze off 4-8 before their 30th birthday.

 

You know what they say, "Why do LDS women stop having children at 30?  because 31 is just too many. ".

 

LOL. 
Well, I've had 3 pregnancies and 2 resulted in births.  One was a miscarriage.

Each one was a first try.

DH and I can't even wash our pants in the same load. 

I tell DH all the time I'm glad we're not Catholic otherwise we'd have 9 by now.  One for each year of marriage.

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I always worry when I so casually joke about the fertility and ease of conception in my own life and family that I'll hurt someone who is struggling.  In truth, I've been pregnant nine times. I have three living children. I concieve much easier than I carry to term. My heart goes out to those wishing they were able to have a child but haven't done so yet. I wish I could have bottled my fertility but many of my eggs were clearly not viable, so I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

 

 

 
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Dahli-mama:

I so love "This American Life", Ira Glass, and especially Sarah Vowel and David Sedaris. I love their stories, the research and depth of detail. I've listened to the podcasts clear back to 2004 and just eat this stuff up.

 

THis is a very compelling story. The one right before it is equally interesting and reminds me that Mormons don't hold the corner on screwed up parents who go on to screw up their kids in screwed up ways.

 

My youngest daughter was still in YW last year and her YW leader called me and invited me to an event where the mothers were to come and help prepare their daughters for a future temple marriage. this woman KNOWS that I'm no longer a member and that the arrangement between her father and I is barely civil. She is completely clueless to my deep contempt for all things temple and I didn't think it was the right time or place to cue her in on all that. So I begged off, making up a number of lame excuses that would keep me out of the event so she finally asked me to just write my daughter a private letter that she could read that would help her in her future temple marriage plans.

 

So i wrote a letter to my fun loving charming cute daughter and told her how I was so excited for her future, her bubbly happiness, how her personality just added all the fizz in the pop of life and that someday some man is going to see her with the same delight I do, and then if they fell in genuine love, they may get married. I told her how important it was to find a man of her own choosing, that fits her own ideals and goals in life and not let anyone pressure her to settling for anything less than true love.

 

I told her that she could be fertile till her mid 30s so to not be in such a hurry to have kids unless thats what she really wanted. I counseled her to make sure she and her husband had time to really get to know each other, to enjoy the wonders of their marriage and just delight in the two of them. I told her that a happy healthy marriage was the best thing they could ever give to their kids or each other. I told her that my fondest dream for her was to be happy, no matter how or where she got there.

 

I didn't mention the temple or her wedding. That's her business. If she does marry in the temple I will be cut out of the scene but I'll still have the rest of her life to enjoy her and her future man, (or woman, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a man). If they have kids thats great, but if they don't, I know I had a wonderful set of experiences with her. If she just adopts fur babies, that's good too. Pet Smart caters to grandparents of fur babies too.

 Did you give the letter to your daughter or was her YW leader supposed to deliver it?  If the latter, you might want to ask your daughter if she got it.

 

It's a great letter.

 

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I sent it in a sealed envelope to the YW leader to give to my daughter at the ceremony. She asked her to read it aloud and my daughter declined. I love her for that. I love that she doesn't need their approval or succumbs too much to the pressure. Not because i want her to be a rebel, but because I want her to have confidence in her own mind.  The groupthink pressure in the Women's programs is so intense. I suspect it's somewhat so in the mens, but RS and YW leaders can really manipulate and add guilt to our daughters that we would never allow in our own homes. I've seen so much catty passive agressive crap go on with the LDS women. I was never well equipped to deal with the games.  I just like straight talk and don't know how to play their game or let them play me.

 

My daughter is doing well even though she's in Utah Valley. I think she'll stick it out another semester and then move on. I hope so anyway. She is growing out of it quickly.

 
       
 


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