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  • Writer's pictureVivian Foley

Of Moms and Mentors

This week we celebrate Mother's Day - a wonderful opportunity to show gratitude to the Mothers in our lives. Let me tell you about some mothers in my life, as well as a mentor who has been on my mind the past few weeks. I might make it sound like they are all perfect by the way I am discussing their amazing qualities. I know that each of them isn't perfect, but I have learned a lot from watching their strengths.

First of all, meet my mom, Connie Clegg Brower. This amazing woman lost her mother when she was only 10 months old. She was raised by her Grandparents, while her older siblings and younger half-siblings stayed with her father. She married my father right out of High School and started a life that wasn't always easy as the wife of a farmer and mother of five children. When I think of my childhood with my mother I remember many things: standing around the piano singing primary songs together, the hours that she taught piano lessons, working in the garden, the delicious taste of fresh made applesauce and the hours of work creating this delicious taste, watching her learn how to upholster and then seeing her reupholster a loveseat and the seats in our car, many hours working on the books and helping my dad with the farm.

As an adult I have watched my mom continue to be amazing. Last year my father passed away and I have watched her courageously continue forward. The last years of his life were especially difficult as he suffered from Lewy body dementia. It took all that my mother had to help him through those difficult years. I think one of the most beautiful memories I have of my mother is watching her sit by my father's bedside and stroke his hair. I have learned from watching my mother walk through all of these and many other difficult experiences. Many are too personal to share here, and of course we will keep her imperfections out of this blog :). My mother is a woman of great strength and courage and I'm so grateful that she is my mom.

Second, meet my mother in law, Janice Jones Foley. This amazing woman also lost a parent young: her father when she was only 18 months old. She and her two older siblings were raised by their mother (another amazing woman), living in the basement of her in-laws' home as they provided needed help and support for this single mother of three.

I didn't get to see all of the amazing things she did as a mother of young children, but I have heard stories from Sean about the things he learned from her. I am grateful that she raised an amazing, respectful, and hard-working son that is my eternal companion. I have watched her for years as a grandmother and now great-grandmother. My children all talk about delicious meals and gatherings at her home. I have seen her encourage each grandchild to grow in their lives, grow in the gospel she loves, and to share their talents. I have also seen her offer many years of selfless service to her family and church. She is an example of faith and love that draws others to her! I am grateful for this woman that has deeply blessed my life and the lives of my children and grandchildren.

Finally, let me tell you about an important mentor in my life, Dr. Sue Johnson. She was the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and she passed away on the 23rd of April. She was the mother of my model of therapy. I never had the chance to meet her in person, but instead have read several of her books and seen many interviews. She was another selfless woman who spent years researching, writing, and training others in the practice of emotionally focused therapy. Her tireless work to help others learn therapy techniques that have evidence of helping others to heal influenced my own therapy work greatly. She was able to describe patterns and processes of attachment and healing in ways that have influenced therapists all over the world in improving the quality of relationships and mental health. Her focus on the importance of relationships and attachment tied with scientific principles helped me bring my faith and values into the therapy room in powerful ways. I am grateful for her gifts and how she blessed the world through her work! You can learn more about this amazing woman here or see her biggest best-selling book here.

I'm grateful for all the strong and amazing women (too many to list here) who have blessed my life. Thank you for being who you are!


1: Mothers Day 2024 - along with beautiful flowers from Branden across the world.

2: With my Mom on my wedding day

3: Sean's Mom with Brock

4-5: Sean at a service project this week with our YSA

6: Exploration of the week was a Singapore cookie place

7: Sue Johnson's best known book on EFT, my style of therapy

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Loved this post!



Thanks for sharing notes about these inspiring women. Happy Mother's Day. And, I am adding that cookie place to my list of things to visit when we come to Singapore next year. :-)

Sean Foley
Sean Foley

Noted! 😀

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