Pastor honors his mom with a book about her
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News May 17, 2012 12:10PM
Larry Wilson of Plainfield and pastor of New Zion Christian Center in Plainfield is the author of "Mom, the Long Journey Home," a biography of his mother. SUBMITTED PHOTOS
Updated: June 28, 2012 12:50PM
PLAINFIELD — Katie Lee Wilson never won a medal, drove a car, owned a house or worked outside the home while she was singlehandedly raising her two boys as a single parent.
But through her presence and example, she taught her boys the golden rule: responsibility, accountability and independence.
Larry Wilson of Plainfield, pastor of New Zion Christian Center in Joliet, captures Katie’s spirit in his first book, “Mom, the Long Journey Home.”
“You never see books about simple people. They’re always about mayors, congressmen and people of that nature,” Wilson said. “I wanted to write a book about how, although we never had a father in the home, she could teach me how to be a good husband and father. She knew hard times, but she remained a good person and never left us.”
Katie, one of nine siblings, grew up in Arkansas. Her father was a sharecropper; her mother was a homemaker. When she became an adult, Katie moved to Chicago, found a hospital housekeeping job and met Larry’s father.
The couple separated after just several years of marriage. Despite having two sons to raise, Larry and his brother, Floyd Wilson of Chicago, Katie remained single for the rest of her life, although Larry had occasionally wished his mother had been open to remarriage, for her own sake.
“She never complained and she would give us her last five or 10 dollars so we could have gym shoes,” Larry said. “She would give you the shirt of off her back; we never went without. She brought us up in the church; she sang in the choir. She never drank and she never smoked. She taught us how to work and pay bills. She showed us how to treat people and to depend on ourselves, yet she always said she wished he could have given us more. That’s the sort of life we led.”
After her boys had grown, Katie returned to housekeeping, this time for Marshall Fields in Chicago, but she also made time to volunteer at homeless shelters.
She was never a “big eater,” but Katie loved preparing meals for others and fussing over them while they ate. Katie enjoyed recounting stories about her past and always had something good to say about everyone.
“Mom, the Long Journey home,” is not a long book; readers can quickly complete it in a couple of days, Wilson said. Signed copies cost $14.95 and are available through Larry’s website www.wix.com/layoutdepartment11/authorwilson.