Monday, August 22, 2005

Small goods sometimes bring about wonderful results!

As I was looking through a photo album this morning, I came across some pictures which helped me realize we all contribute mightily when we do little things for others.

About 20 years ago, I learned a 69 year old man's secret. He couldn't read! He was often called upon at church to read the Scripture for that Sunday, but always used "I left my glasses in the car or at home" to prevent being embarrassed. Secretly, I met with him 3 mornings a week and over a period of a year, taught him to read. How proud I was that Sunday when he volunteered to read the morning's Scripture. He went on to teach his daughter and some of his closest friends (who were older than him) how to read. I took a photo of him that Sunday morning and seeing the pride on his face in his accomplishment - after all these years, brightened my morning.

While I was an exchange student in Amsterdam in 1995, I taught English to the children of 4 of the professors to earn some extra money. One of the boys in the group of six children was 14 years old and he told me he had no interest in English. He, of course, proved to be my best student. I received a very nice letter from his mother about a month ago informing me he is now teaching English in a Dutch elementary school. The picture I took of my six students (with Deryk scowling at the camera) brought back the excitement I had the first day I started with them.

When I first moved to the South, I was amazed to learn knitting was not very popular here - although, crocheting is! I've been a Master Knitter for over 40 years and decided to teach some of my new-found Southern friends how to knit. That first class consisted of 3 women - all of whom were firm in their commitment to never be able to knit anything that looked pretty and usable. All three are now Master Knitters themselves and travel all over the world teaching and acquiring new patterns and designs, which they are proud to share with me!

The very first computer I ever used was a humongous Litton 3-tape drive monster which had to be in a climate-controlled room where the temperature was maintained at 68 degrees! As a result of learning how to operate this (what I thought to be) technological marvel, I learned to love working with and repairing computers. Over the years I've taught many "how to" classes to senior citizens who were absolutely terrified of turning on a computer! A phone call from one of the gentlemen who participated in one of those classes about 10 years ago was to inform me he is now working for a software company which creates Christian games - at the wonderful young age of 73! How cool is that?

There was one newspaper clipping which brought back a torrent of emotions. A horrible accident, to which I had been a witness, occurred one morning as I was on my way to a bowling tournament. The driver was belted in, but his wife wasn't and she had been thrown out of the car - injured, but ambulatory. The photo in the newspaper showed me tolding her in my arms to prevent her from attempting to help her husband who burned to death on that horrible day. I stayed with her all day, and offered what little help and comfort I was able to give. We became fast friends and whenever she needed help, I was there for her. After she passed away about 15 years ago I was informed by her attorney she made a large bequest of thousands of dollars to her local fire department in my name. What an honor for me and how wonderful for that fire department which desperately needed the funds.

Maybe, just maybe, there is and has been a purpose for my being here after all!


Blogger Mama Mouse said...

Absolutely there is a reason! You did some very wonderful things, especially helping that poor woman as she lie watching her husband being consumed by fire. How HORRIBLE!

Sometimes we know the things we have done to help others ... often we don't. But because we don't doesn't mean we haven't. You never know how a simple word or action may change a person's life. You are very fortunate to be able to know how some of the things you did affected those you touched! I bet there are many more you aren't even aware of.

You are a good lady!

3:45 PM PDT  
Blogger Patty said...

I enjoy your blog very much. I make sure I read mamamouse and yours everyday. Thanks for the interesting stories.

7:59 AM PDT  

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