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Retired But Not Forgotten

Beloved children's program director retires to seek new adventures

Countless Great Falls children have been touched and nurtured by Carol Mosier, who started the Mother’s Day Out program at the Christ the King Lutheran Church in town. She, in turn, has found the strength to fight multiple battles with cancer and numerous surgeries through the energy she gets from the children in her program. After more than a decade of leading Mother’s Day Out, Mosier is retiring to travel and enjoy her twilight years.

The Rev. Paul Gysan says that Mosier has been an inspiration to everyone she comes into contact with. “I call her ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul.’ because that’s what she is to so many people. The things she’s been through, she’s in a wheelchair now to get around, they haven’t stopped her. She’s an inspiration.”

Being with young children, said Carol Mosier, “has given me a lot of strength. I’m a breast cancer survivor. God has given me the strength to fight and to be here. It’s been a true honor for me to be here.”

Mother’s Day Out is similar to a preschool program. Parents can sign their children up to attend the program at the church for a few hours a day, allowing free time to get the basics done without children in tow. “‘Mom’s Day Out’ is the perfect name for it. It’s not all that luxurious. It’s just being able to have a few hours to yourself now and then,” said Cathy Moran. All four of her children have attended the program.

“This is where I’d want my kids to be if they weren’t with me. It just gave them such a great foundation. She runs a tight ship, but she’s so kind,” said Moran.

“She’s falling apart, but she never showed it to the kids,” Moran said. Lyvonne Gysan added, “She’s amazing really. She’s survived several foot operations and two types of cancer. She had both ankles fused and hip replacement surgery. At one point she had 18 pins in her leg, but she keeps going.”

Carol’s husband, Doug Mosier said, “This has been very hard physically on her. It’s time we travel and not be stuck with the hordes. It’s a physically demanding program to work with 2 1/2-year-olds to 5-year-olds. It’s time we did some other things together.”

Carol Mosier is greeting the next stage of her life with both excitement and apprehension. The church treasurer has built in 50 hours of consulting work for her to do with the program, so she doesn’t go cold turkey. “It’s been a fun ride. I’ve got a lot of wonderful memories. It’s been a true honor for me to be here. I’ve had the chance to work with wonderful children and special families,” said Carol Mosier.

Anyone in the community can join the Mothers Day Out program. Though many are church members, many, like Moran, do not belong to the church. “The original idea,” said Mosier, “was to serve the church and the community. We started the program in response to some needs from young mothers in the church who wanted quality Christian child care for their children. I took the job by default because I was the Sunday School director at the time,” said Mosier.

Mothers and fathers currently using the program and those whose children have long since graduated from the program came together last week to give Mosier a surprise going-away party to show their appreciation for her years of service. Lisa Smith gave Mosier a melange of items that were intended to represent the gifts she has given to the families over the years. They gave her a scrapbook to show the lives she’s touched over the years, a charm bracelet, and luggage. The Vera Bradley luggage, said Smith, is “a tribute to the difficult struggles over the last years,” and the charm bracelet is meant to be “filled with mementos of future travels.” Smith told Mosier that the group, “ask[s] that you go off on your journey and find happiness wherever the road leads you.”

Carol Mossier seems unstoppable, even in a wheelchair. “I’ve needed to use a wheelchair to do stuff around here but I’ve tried to turn that into a positive for the kids, for them to be able to see that and have it be OK,” said Carol Mosier.

“My husband says that God has a plan for me but hopes that he’ll let me rest a little in between,” said Carol Mosier. She adds that if the Mother’s Day Out program needs her, “I’ll come right over.”