In the spring of 1994, my mother and I both agreed that it was time to take that trip to Unity Village in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. We were once again teaching at the same college in a south suburb of Chicago, as we had done years earlier in Memphis. Coincidentally, we had also gone to college together and when I saw her the hallways, I’d say “Hi, Ma!”
She had introduced all of us to the small, yet power-packed book called Daily Word. Her Aunt Myrtle had shared it with her when she was a young woman living Detroit. Hence, she and I attended Unity churches in Chicago and Memphis. Our Chicago minister gave long descriptive talks about her time spent at Unity Village, so it definitely was on our bucket lists.
I purchased Amtrak train tickets and I thought that going First Class would help both of us relax after working with college students. We left from Chicago’s Union Station as we looked forward to enjoying the serenity of Unity Village.
To my dismay, the First Class car was quite small and we were in there with a large, noisy family. There was a crying baby and a wandering toddler and they never seemed to calm down during our eleven- hour trip. They broke my peace into pieces, but I had to go along to get along. Ma and I later found the humor in it by imitating some of their antics.
When we finally arrived in Lee’s Summit, we took a cab to Unity Village. It was a large, grassy complex and it exuded peace. Though I had rented two rooms, I ended up staying in my mother’s room because it was large and it felt the safest. Money was lost there but, oh well.
We stayed a couple of nights and these are a few of the highlights that I remember once we ventured out of our cozy room. The food was excellent in the cafeteria. Each table had a copy of Daily Word propped up as a centerpiece. That was an added plus as we enjoyed the good food after such a long train ride.
The weather was dry, mild and pleasant. We spent time in the Silent Unity Chapel and I remember a beautiful, stained glass window with a huge white dove displayed behind the altar. We sat in the silence and quietly reveled in the fact that we had finally made it there. We had spent years reading the writings of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Catherine Ponder, Emmett Fox along with so many other great, inspirational authors.
But our trip to the Unity library and bookstore stood out the most. My mother decided to make a photocopy of the Daily Word message from each of her children’s birthdates. So, we spent time going through the archives to locate the years of 1945, 1947, 1948 and 1950. She made copies of each daughter’s birth date message and later gave each their personal copy. I still have mine!!
The experience was great and obviously, the train ride back to Chicago was quiet and uneventful because I don’t remember it. We felt satisfied that we had made the trek. Years after her passing in December of 2002, Unity Village sent me literature saying that they were building a new fountain. We were invited to help place the bricks around the fountain by purchasing a brick engraved with the name of a loved one. I didn’t hesitate to purchase one to honor my mother’s memory.
To my delight, after a special request, a Unity staff person went out and took pictures for me. This was in 2013 because I certainly did not plan on making that long trip again. Here is calming picture of the new fountain and the paver with my mother’s name on it! How glad I am!!
April 14, 2022