May 11, 2014

Lessons from mom

CHAZY -- Emily Castine remembers her mother dearly for the lessons she passed down to her.

“She had a great faith, she was selfless,” said Castine, who is moderator for Chazy Presbyterian Women and a lay pastor of Chazy Presbyterian Church. “She was very unassuming, modest, a bit shy, and she never held grudges.”

And Castine said her mother, Kathryn Flachbart, “took care of a severely handicapped daughter for 13 years and always believed it was a gift rather than a burden.”


Saturday, the 209-year-old church embraced the historical lineage of motherhood during its fifth-annual Mother’s Day Tea and Silent Auction.

Castine, who was among those who attended, later burned the midnight oil completing the Mother’s Day sermon for today’s service.

Her mother, she said, largely inspired her message.

“The idea is that she was chosen by God (to have that child) because God knew that my mother could handle it.”

Castine’s sister Linda suffered from severe cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. She couldn’t walk, speak or feed herself.

“So Mom was carrying her up a huge flight of stairs every single night and every single day,” she said.

“They lived in a nice suburb in New York City, and she opted to have her at home. She gave Linda all the love in the world.”


Mrs. Flachbart lived with Castine and her family for 28 years until her death at nearly 83.

“She was certainly loved unconditionally.”

Castine said she learned so much from her mother — especially to be gentle and to always keep faith.

“The mothers pass on the faith generally.”

If there was anything Castine could say to her mother now it would be, “Thank you, Mom.

“She always believed things would turn out all right.”


Jan Davis, a deacon at Chazy Presbyterian Church and Castine’s right-hand woman, said she is thankful for her mother’s great spirit.

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