When we think of who we are and where we came from, we must consider each and every person who has had a part in shaping us. Today I'm going to look back to some who have impacted me along the way…..
The first connection and shaper in my life was, of course, my mother. Always selfless, serving others. Sweet, kind, generous. A detail person that could seemingly iron the wrinkles out of anything. She was one of those ladies that starched and ironed pillowcases, lace doilies, and my crinolines (oh yes, these were under our full, gathered skirts in the 1950s). She cooked fabulous meals, sewed my clothes, took me to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. My first impact and a great impact.
Then there was my father. Or Dad! A devoted family man, a man who loved God, a lay preacher of the Word of God, a fisherman who could catch ‘em when the “blues are running!”. He loved me, his only little girl.
My uncles and my grand parents were right there in the home as I was growing up. We had a home full of “extended family.”
I remember Sunday School teachers who were faithful when I was growing up and who remained in faithful the church for years after I had grown up and raised my own family. Faithful servants of God.
I remember teachers. Back when I was in school, we had 40 or 45 students in a classroom. One teacher. No teacher's aide. If we misbehaved, we stayed after school and learned to behave. Then we learned more about how to behave in school after we got home. I remember especially my 7th grade teacher. She still felt the value of reading to us in class and of singing little ditty songs with us. Seventh grade was a hard year socially for me. I don’t remember all the good and all the bad things, but I remember somehow my teacher helping make things right.
I remember learning to work a weekend and holiday job starting when I was 16 in the local department store. I remember the sales ladies who were kind and helpful. They taught me by example that standing on my feet all day, keeping the “goods” in order and neat, and being kind and gracious to our customers was important. My Dad taught me that being “on time” meant being there at least 15 minutes early and ready to work.
Some of the people who have impacted me have been as ships that pass in the night. A brief encounter that none-the-less leaves a wake that lifts and floats you and somehow impacts you. Friends are not always forever. They are sometimes like ships in the night – passing briefly and casting a radiance on our being.
And I wonder as I reminisce, just how have I impacted folks? How have you?