A Bouquet for Mom

When I turned 21, I gave my mother a bouquet of 21 daisies, each marking a happy and grateful year since she gave birth to me…I figured October 22 was kind of her birth-day, too. Daisies reminded me of the simple childlike love that I felt for her from day one. When Mom wrote her own memoir called “Mary’s Beautiful Memories,” she put daisies on the cover, perhaps as a wink back at me?

This week in Chicago, I will perform “The God Box, A Daughter’s Story”  as a way of taking her gift forward. This photo was shot during last Sunday’s show at Saint Joseph’s University. I hope you will join me at future performances or maybe, if you still have your Mom, you’ll give her a thank you bouquet just because.

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I am taking a bit of my own advice (and Mom’s) and letting myself let go this weekend. Ever since the launch of “The God Box” in mid April, I have been going 100 mph every single day trying to do all I can to make it fly. And when I think back on it, I’ve kind of been at this pace since that first “God Box” article in Real Simple in November 2010. And I need a break.

So I am heading out of town with a longtime friend for some girlfriend R and R, to a place where they discourage email, twitter, cellphones and civilization in general. I know I will sneak some peeks, but my goal is to rest, reflect and refresh. As my wish for you, I want to share a beautiful email I just received from a lovely woman named Carolyn Sayres. Carolyn attended the event that I presented last night in NY to benefit my alma mater Saint Joseph’s University’s SheUnited program for women. I had shared the story of my Mom and our farewell of love, “Hands on.”

Here is what she wrote:

“Your presentation was incredibly moving and I felt that all of us in the room were joined together by a common bond.  I was reminded of something my mother would always say to me when we were leaving each other:  ‘Mizpah – May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are apart one from the other.’

I was reminded at how these seemingly little things are sometimes the biggest expressions of Love.  Thank you for reminding me of this.


Caroline Sayres


So to all, Mizpah and Hands on!

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A Book Party with a Soul, “The God Box” at Michael’s April 23rd

Ann Moore, a great friend and the former chair of TIME Inc, and me

The truth about NY book parties is that they sound glamorous and sometimes, on TV, they are portrayed that way. Who doesn’t remember Carrie’s book party on Sex and The City? But honestly, they are often sedate affairs where friends and media folks stop in for a quick air kiss, grab a book and head to their real destination, dinner out or home with family at the end of a long day. But I can truly say that the book party that Joe threw for me at Michael’s in NYC was an exception.

I felt so much love in that room. Longtime friends and neighbors, connections from our Irish-American world in NYC, from the theatre, from the blogosphere, from literary circles and film and many terrific supporters from the national media. The room was like one big hug. Just listen to this lovely story of the birth of the God Box from Ann Moore, a great friend and the former chair of TIME Inc. It’s amazing that the book’s very beginning as an article in Real Simple was triggered by the loss of another beautiful mother to cancer and the connection between her beautiful daughter Lily and me, when we were both still fresh with grief.

A party to toast “The God Box”

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New York Women in Communications featured a film with “The God Box” story

Last Monday, New York Women in Communications honored high achieving women with their prestigious Matrix Award. Winners included Glenn Close, Ann Curry, Peggy Noonan, Laura Desmond and others…all stars in their own fields. I am proud to say that I received that award myself 15 years ago and still treasure it on my wall.

As part of the event held in the Waldorf for 1500 executives in the communications world, a film was shown highlighting former winners–like Katie Couric and Arianna Huffington–and I was in it. It was my chance to salute the woman I credit with anything I have ever achieved: my Mom. This video was just released and I’d like to share it with you. Enjoy!

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FROM @PINTEREST: Chatham University Natatorium

Just presented at Pittsburgh’s Chatham University in the Mellon Board Room that was once the Natatorium, one of the first indoor swimming pools ever-gorgeous white tiled ceiling. And yes, robin’s egg blue shining from the sun!

I added this picture my on @Pinterest here.  Join me there.


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Day of rest after dancing with “The God Box”

Last night, on a beautiful April evening in my hometown of Philadelphia, I introduced “The God Box”, surrounded by the people I love best, my family. Not only my beloved Joe, brother Jack and Sandy, sister in law Ginny and Tony, but many of our closest friends and the extended family of those who have battled through cancer. The  event was the annual Coaches VS Cancer Gala which has raised over $8 million for the American Cancer Society’s research and services programs.

It was held in the Park Hyatt, still affectionately known as The Bellevue by Philly people, in the ballroom where I first fell in love with Joe. We danced that night at a Saint Joe’s event and last night after I talked about the book and the role it will play fighting this terrible disease. Though I have to admit my too – high heels took a toll on my toes, my heart couldn’t be lighter.If I look sparkley outside, that’s nothing compared to what I feel inside. The God Box is on its way. here we go, Mom!

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sample chapter
Enjoy a free selected chapter from The God Box.

reading group guide
Invite your book club to join this engaging conversation about Mary Lou’s book.

printable mini cards
Share these mini note cards or write notes for your God Box.

mobile app
The God Box app makes it easy to write notes on the go.

giving back
Ask how Mary Lou can support your local cause with the book and play.
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Come meet Mary Lou and experience The God Box: A Daughter's Story at a venue near you.
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press & praise
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  • "A wonderful legacy…Keeping a God Box is an incredibly moving and hopeful ritual that we should all consider adding into our daily lives."
  • "In the slips of paper that carry this sweet story forward, we can see the love in our own families and the great possibilities of simple faith."
  • "What a beautiful and profoundly human book....I will keep The God Box in my heart for a long, long time."
  • "A beautiful story of love, faith and family. It reads like an intimate, familiar prayer."
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan shares her mother’s handmade and heartfelt gift of how to persist, believe and move forward with joy."
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan has told the story of her mother in a way that entertains, moves and inspires. The thoughts about life and values will stick with you forever."
  • "The courage and wisdom from the messages left in her mother’s God Box will inspire you to create a God Box of your own."

The God Box App is shiny new and ready to welcome your cares

November 18, 2018
by Mary Lou Quinlan

Since The God Box book was published in the spring of 2012, so many readers have told me that they started their own God Boxes. I love hearing stories of children creating God Boxes and married couples joining their prayer and cares in a family box. (And my mother would be thrilled!)  A 'real' God box is a constant reminder that we are not in control and that letting go is the first step to finding comfort, hope and relief for life's worries. But did you know that many thousands have gone virtual with their God boxes? To help the many busy ...

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