Band of Sisters–Dedication

My mother turns 85 this year.  Tomorrow we’re gathering four generations of family from far and wide to celebrate.  We’ll laugh and light the candles, sing Mom’s favorite songs and cut the cake.  We’ll tell family stories—especially the funny ones, offer tributes, and take photos until our faces freeze.  We’ll remember and do our best to articulate (tears notwithstanding) all she means to us, and how this precious matriarch has inspired each of our lives.

For me, her second daughter and third child, the list is long.  One of the Ebenezers in my memory—one of many ways that God has helped me through my mother—is our shared love and appreciation of the book, In His Steps, by Charles Sheldon.  Mom tucked it in my Easter basket when I was ten–along with jelly beans, a chocolate bunny, and Barbie clothes.

Next to my Bible, I’ve read In His Steps more often than any other book.  Next to my Bible, it has had the greatest impact on my life.  When you read Band of Sisters, you’ll understand why.  It holds the key to every serious life question I’ve ever entertained, and it holds the key to unlocking the knotty problem of modern-day slavery.  I’ll talk about that next week, but for now I want to salute my dear and dearly loved mother, and share the dedication I wrote to her in Band of Sisters:

For My Mother

Loving, Courageous, Inspiring

Whose name, Bernice, aptly means “Bearer of Victory”

 In celebration of your eight-fifth birthday

She is worth far more than rubies . . . .

She opens her arms to the poor

and extends her hands to the needy . . . .

She speaks with wisdom,

and faithful instruction is on her tongue . . . .

Her children arise and call her blessed . . . .

“Many women do noble things,

but you surpass them all.”

Proverbs 31


I am a daughter truly blessed.  If you were with us tomorrow we’d share birthday cake and ice cream.  I’d offer you sweet tea, because that’s what every true Southerner drinks.  I’d ask your family stories, and would love to know which people and what books have most influenced you and how.  “Precious memories, how they linger . . .”

Looking forward to meeting you here, in the garden, next week!

God’s rich blessings for you,


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  • Carrie says:

    Hi Cathy, I loved reading this dedication to your mother. Happy birthday to Bernice! Hope you all have a lovely celebration this weekend.
    Blessings to all,

    • Cathy Gohlke says:

      Thank you, Carrie! It was a wonderful celebration–full of laughter, tears, and an amazing opportunity to honor my mother and friend. God is so good–my heart overflows!

  • Wilbur Goforth says:

    Thank-you for dedicating your new book to your wonderful Mother and my sweet sister!
    It sounds like another good book.


    • Cathy Gohlke says:

      I hope you’ll enjoy the read, Uncle Wilbur! It was a privilege to dedicate “Band of Sisters” to Mom. We missed you and Aunt Jane at the celebration, but are so glad you were able to visit Mom recently. She absolutely loved it!

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