Sunday, September 2, 2012
it started with a note
I know that Carol doesn't remember me.She was ten years old when we met and so many people would have drifted in and out of her life in all these years ,especially in California. But I remember her,the sweet face,open smile,blond hair pulled back in a pony-tail and her note.I have it still, kept in a red tin box of things that I will never throw away.
It was in Huntington Beach ,California that the Lord gently pulled me back into his arms .As
I began to go back to Mass, I heard a call for volunteers to teach Catechism.,so I found a neighbor girl of 13 to watch my toddlers and went off to teach 5th graders.I loved every minute of it.
California is hard to describe.In the early '70s ,the air was terribly polluted and we had an earthquake,the scariest thing that I had ever experienced.At 6 A.M.,I awoke to the sound of barking dogs.They felt it before anyone else and then the house we were renting started moving,shifting back and forth.Oh,my! We survived with just a few broken coffee cups that tumbled off shelves.
What stays with me, however,was the 10 and 11 year olds that met with me on Thursday afternoons.They had happy dispositions and were a pleasure to be around.Maybe it was the California sun,or the bright flowers everywhere.Orange California poppies and Bird of Paradise.They came in each time, smiling and eager to learn with nary a bad attitude to be found.This was my first teaching experience and the Lord must have sprinkled these angels onto my path to keep me going.I remember their contagious laughter as we doused a baby doll with water when the lesson was about Baptism.
Before long,it was time to move back to Denver and I said good-bye to my angels.On that day, Carol handed me a note ,folded on pink paper with ,yes, a hand drawn flower on the front.I read it, folded it and moved it with me all over that country in the years that followed.When we landed in Colorado,I taught another class and here in Georgia, I taught older children ,teenagers.Each experience brought me great joy.
One group had a girl whose father was dying, another, a boy whose father had died the previous year and was so lost and angry.While we learned our Faith, the class ministered to these broken children.The Body of Christ in fifteen year old forms.I was a witness to the healing of these and others;a young girl who finally broke down on a retreat over the divorce of her parents.We all watched her transformation at the hands of the One. A note from another said:"You made me see the beauty in God....and showed me the love in others."All because of Carol.
This is my prayer for my long ago student: May nothing have prevented you from giving love to others as you did me.I pray that you continued to walk with the Christ that we looked for long ago.May you feel his arms around you,this day.And, thank you.
She would be in her early fifties now and I have no way to reach her.Her note simply said:"You've been the best teacher,ever."Carol L.