For years I have wanted to find her, to tell her what she meant to me. I have looked and looked all over the internet, always with no luck.
My whole life, I have felt the pull of faith. As a small girl, I wanted to be in church every chance I could get. I was raised Catholic by parents who made sure I was prepared for every sacrament from Baptism to Confirmation, but attending church really wasn't a priority for them.
So, I became a beggar of sorts...a waif. By 6 years old, if I knew your family was going to church, I'd position myself to ensure that you'd have to drive past my big, sad eyes to get there. I didn't care what church you went to, either...I just wanted to go.
Protestant churches felt so exotic to me...different songs, Sunday school, empty crosses, and different smells. ("Catholic Church" should be a fragrance for candles, room atomizers, and car scents.)
Mr. and Mrs. Terry lived in the same apartment complex as my family, The Teachers' Apartments in Buras, La. If you're looking for the town, trace the boot down to the big toe dangling out in the Gulf and you've got it. Mom and dad moved there fresh out of college because if they pledged to intern in that low socio-economic area for 4 years, their college loans would be forgiven.
Mrs. Terry was my second grade teacher. Her husband was the coach. There was only one public school, Buras High School, and it went from K-12. Mom taught 1st grade and dad taught High School Art and Literature. The Terrys were also the parents of my best friend, Diane. They worshipped at a small Church of Christ. When they loaded up their station wagon, they filled it up with their family of 6. But when Diane would ask if I could go along, they always made room.
That time in my life was absolutely crucial. I have carried that debt of gratitude on my heart for over 30 years. Tonight, I caught a break. I found her name and a number online. I dialed, not sure if it would be a dead end. Mrs. Terry answered and suddenly I was in second grade again and it all came spilling out.
"Thank you for always having room for me, for including me in your family's love, for being a welcoming and warm presence in a small girls's life when she was thirsty to know about God. Thank you. I have wanted to tell you for so long how grateful I am. One day when my daughters were small, they were running and laughing in the fellowship hall and I spun back to when Diane had my hand and was running me through the hall at your church and it was so clear that those two points in time were undeniably linked."
And now, the words have been spoken. I was shaky and a little tearful, but the words that needed saying for so long have been said. She knows that she was a vital person in my path. She knows where that path had led. I pray that she is blessed by knowing the impact of her small kindnesses. I know that I have been. And now, I can sleep.
Very cool :)
I know Buras- a good friend I served in the Marines with is from Buras, and would bring me here (to New Orleans) on Christmas leave to visit my local friends when we were stationed elsewhere. After the storm we drove down there to see how it faired... and it really wasn't there anymore.
Stabb sent this to me at work. Thught I'd share it here. I really liked it.
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things ---your spouse , your children , your health , your friends, and your favorite passions ---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job , your house, and your car .
The sand is everything else ---the small stuff.
If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
'Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents.. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.
Take care of the golf balls first ---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, I'm glad you asked..' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.'
Although... you could put in the beer first, and then the golf balls.
Sometimes, that is actually the preferable order...
This was one of those things that makes you smile for an entire day. Thank you for sharing!
This does make a person grin :)
The honeymoon is over.
As sad as that is, it's good to be home. We had a hell of a time getting here because I managed to forget my purse waaaaay back along the journey, in a sandwich shop in Alabama. My new husband put on his hero's cape and said a few comforting, "It's ok, darling. It's easy to do"s until I felt less dopey. Then he Google earth'd us back to the shop, verified the bag was there and we headed back 2 hours. Purse retrieved, and 2 hours later, we were home. Again.
Thinking back on our time this week, we listened to so much music, both on the drive and during our stay. Two songs will forever be associated with this time together. I'm posting one now. We must have listened to it a dozen times during the week. We hummed it and sang it ourselves at goofy times.
We stayed out at the beach until sunset last night and again tonight. We're just back from the water and I still haven't showered all the sand off yet.
We drove around today with no clocks to bother us. We got off the road a little early, got wonderfully lost and saw the bay from a whole new angle. We visited a state park, played mini golf, swam in the pool which is on the 5th floor and looks out over the gulf.
We did all the same things kids and lovers do at the beach. We wrote our names in the sand. We hunted for seashells. We held hands as the waves crashed into us. We laughed and bobbed in the salty spray. It felt endless.
The knot is tied. That's right, we're official now. Stabb and I are married and on our honeymoon. We just got back from lunch and I'm writing this while he slathers 100 proof sunblock all over so that he doesn't catch on fire when we walk out the door of the condo and ash on the strip. He's a very white boy!
We're in Panama City and getting ready to go to Marine World. He thinks he's going to swim with the dolphins but I saw the prices. $150...he ain't gonna. Then we're off for a rousing game of wacky golf where I will beat him handily. (He's laughing for some reason.) Tomorrow morning is sunrise on the beach and swimming. The water is emerald green, then sapphire blue, then green, then blue again as far as the eye can see. Just gorgeous.
We're goofy happy. Rock on, VR!
:) Many Congrats to you both.
Congratulations to you both! *I've got a big goofy grin going on for you* Have a wonderful time
Congrats to you both!!
Oh, hell yeah! Congratulations you two. =) If you think of it ... and can swing it by customs ... will you bring back a little sand for me? Please? =)
Why, that is wonderful news! Every happiness and best wish possible for your future life together! Congratulations, and I hope you both have a super honeymoon! :)
Very, very happy for you both!
Congrats! May the marriage be blessed with many happy memories.
Thanks all! Dashing to the beach...we're hot, sweaty and looking for some waves :)
This is just wonderful, Congrats to you both!
Congratualtions, and best wishes - for both of you.
Thoth thayth "Congrath!"
Congratulations & blessings to both of you.
COME TO DISNEY WORLD!!! ILL LET YOU GUYS IN!
And congrats you guys!! YAY!!!
And Stabb remember you're an american now.....don't become a lobster.....;)
Congrats!!! I am sorry I missed all of this but congradulations to you both!!!!
Congratulations! I can't imagine someone more perfectly suited for love and it's poetry than you.
I look forward to what writings evolve from this romance, this love of yours for I know it will be everything that is magical, dusky, and alive.
Life is fucking grand, isn't it?
I am so happy for you both. L'Chaim.
|World Visitor Map|