Monday, September 5, 2011

Giver or Taker

I have been thinking a lot lately about people who have encouraged me over the years. They are a diverse group of people spanning a 50 year life. Some of them are dead now. Some are much younger than I am. They are of many ethnic descents and social strata I don't even know some of their names. The only thing that I  see that they have in common is their kindness.

There was Mr. G., a pharmacist at an Army hospital who saw me sitting for hours each day in the waiting room. I see pictures of the child that I was and know I would have been a pitiful little thing. I am sure I seemed solemn as I waited every day for months to know if my dad would live or die. Dad had been  smashed in a tangle between his compact car and a peach truck, when I was 6 years old. I was settling in to what would seem like a lifetime of waiting in the hospital. Mr. G. made it his business to walk across the hall when he closed up the pharmacy window each day and speak to me. I was almost always the only one in the waiting room after hours. He was a black man and I was a white child. Our world was segregated, but  he befriended me.

My parents also worked hard to be kind to me. We had the deck stacked against us. In my first 6 years, my dad spent one year in Vietnam, we lost 3 of my  4 grandparents, 2 of whom died in their 50's, we relocated in the midst of this turmoil and left all of our friends and support, my dad took guardianship of two mentally ill sisters, my mother's only sister was nearly killed in an accident , we lost our income and our world was tipped upside down. This could have been the recipe for a ruined childhood. I remember the events and the sadness and trauma associated with them yet I didn't have a tragic childhood. At every turn, though my parents couldn't protect me from life and couldn't even always be with me, I knew that I was valued and loved. I knew that one of the reasons my dad fought to live was to raise me. I understood that we were all having to pull together and that times were hard, but I never felt despair.

What a blessing to have many givers in my childhood, foremost among whom were my parents. They gave me a stability and a sense of being cherished that kept me anchored during difficult times. I am still stabilized by what they gave me. I hope I can give my children half as much security and encouragement as my parents gave me. I hope that my children will grow up to be givers and encouragers .as well.



2 Moms of a Feather...Stick Together said...

It makes us matter what we have been through...
That God will take care of us...and can heal everything about our past,present and knows our future.
But...we have to "let Him" have control. Sometimes this is daily...or minute by minute.
Thanking Jesus for dying on the cross for our sins.
Love ya bunches,
Mommy 2

Lawana said...

Thanks Mommy2. I sometimes find myself reeling at God's mercy toward me. It is sometimes for me, like the feeling of a near miss car accident. I just can't believe that the God of the universe, loves me enough to give me life more abundantly!