An Inconvenient Voice
We often read of marriages with large families, and by that I don't mean three or four children, but enough to fill a passenger van, or a small bus. We can see the challenges they face, of course, but the popular depictions see those challenges invariably overcome. “Bairns are a blessin’” is the ancient Gaelic adage, and the Old Testament bears witness to the fruitfulness of such a union of hearts and minds.
What happens to the woman who was born with brains and a potential to be anything yet desired only to be procreative and familial? A woman who felt her place in life was to grow a generation of God-fearing children, despite her own upbringing and wishes of her parents.
But the ways of God are a mystery, and we see so little from our skewed vantage point. We are confounded when everything falls apart. And this writer would submit to an irony, one indicated earlier today, that from a state which served as the backdrop for such adventures in pretense as The Stepford Wives, would come the tale of a struggle to reach beyond the din.
Kristin Luscia Bothur is the mother of eleven children. She has a BS in English and Social Science from Eastern Connecticut State University, and is currently pursuing a Master's in Dogmatic Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She has been a homeschooling mother for fifteen years, as long as she has been a practicing Catholic. Several years ago, her husband left her for another woman, and her life as she knew it was changed forever.
What happens to this woman who delighted in channeling all of her efforts into producing and molding many young minds to love Jesus and Mary and also Latin and Literature? What happens to this woman who did all of this homemaking despite her husband’s moods and faults, through good times and bad, and then found herself alone?
I am this woman ...
Her dramatic narrative has recently been published. 11 On My Own tells of a young girl with a restless heart, in search of its true home. It is not an easy read. Some will be shaken by the personal angst, the melodrama which is easily dismissed as tawdry. Some may even find it unsuitable fare for "Catholic reading." Those who view the world with rose-colored glasses, all the while wrapping it in the mantle of orthodoxy, are only deluding themselves. The ways of the saints (and saints in the making, as all of us should be) are those of suffering, of bearing the cross, on the path to the merited crown. Kristin's is an inconvenient voice, but one that is necessary, one that speaks for reluctant single mothers who stand alone.
When I first learned of this woman's story last month, in response to a piece entitled “20 Years After: Divorce and the Culture of Death”, a correspondence began, followed by several phone conversations. I finally had the privilege of meeting Kristin two weeks ago, at the annual Catholic Writers' Conference in King of Prussia, PA. We spoke for several hours. A more complete review of her work is forthcoming, but I have read it twice now, and there is so much more to discover, as least for me. One is left in awe of what this woman has struggled to overcome.
Nor am I alone in this discovery. The upcoming issue of Faith & Family will feature a piece on her remarkable life. The first clip at above is an interview from last spring on AirMaria. There is yet another, to be featured tomorrow on the Catholic TV program “This Is The Day.” It will be broadcast at 10:30 am Eastern USA time, rebroadcast at 7:30 pm, and again throughout the week. A link to the webcast is also available by clicking on the show's title above.
The story continues to unfold, as she is also the author of a blog that bears the same name as the book: 11 On My Own.
UPDATE1: The aforementioned interview will also be re-broadcast on Saturday at 3:30 am and 6:00 pm, Sunday at 6:60 pm, and Monday at 12:30 am.
UPDATE2: The second video clip has been updated to show the featured episode, so you can watch it anytime you want (starting at 15:21, and ending at 24:28). Over and over again. That's how we roll here at mwbh.