Thursday, June 9, 2011

History & A Lesson Learned

No matter how unimportant, minuscule, mundane, insert your own adjective you think your life is, you have lasting impact on others without even trying.

Even if you try to hermitize your life, like I have at times, you still impact others by the lack of your presence & input whether positive or negative. As I look back on my life, I can see that even the ugliest, hurtful times have helped make me a better person & if not better, the person I am.

I get some of my best ideas for this blog while chatting with friends on Pat Sloan's forum. I'm sure they must think I talk too much, but no one has told me to shut up yet, & I do TRY self control & somewhat limit myself.

I was relaying to them my happenings on Tuesday which is my quilt guild 1st meet day of the month. We always have such a super time, but Tuesday was exceptional. We had a great meeting then afterwards, a group of about 10 of us went to our favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch. Now THAT lunch is a whole nother story.

After I left them, I went to Walmart to get a few things. It was so hot & walking over that big store didn't help. I was so hot & sweaty all I wanted to do was go home & shower. I was almost done when I heard someone call my name.

It was Mary. I had seen her briefly about a year ago at same Walmart, of course. We had gone to high school together 40+ years ago & had become friends. That in itself is not the story.

The story is that was the time of the 60's in the south, in Alabama in particular, around the time that George Wallace was/had been governor & the schools were just beginning integration. Mary was one of two black kids that were put in the white school. Don't know if it was voluntary, forced, paid or what; don't remember us ever discussing the how/why she was there.

If the situation had been reversed & I had had to go to the black school, there's no way I would have done it. Not just because it was the black school, but because it was different. I was shy back then, but more than that I was selective. It meant something special for me to talk to anyone or be friends so mostly I kept my mouth shut.

This meeting with Mary, she brought up all these memories, she wanted to talk about it & what it meant to her to have a friend. She said something bout how she had seen that I never talked to anyone, but I talked to her & she couldn't believe it. I don't remember all that, but apparently she does.

Each one of us live in a part of what will become history. Each one of us make the history around us. I do believe God always guides our lives, whether we are willing to follow or not. I don't mean predestination, I mean He cares for us & He makes a way, a path, for us to follow. Sometimes it takes years for us to find that path, sometimes we may feel as though we never find it & sometimes it just pops up at Walmart & you look back & see at least once you were on it.

It would have been normal for me to treat her the way I guess she expected to be treated in that time & circumstance. I was brought up just like everyone else, with normal being a division, a prejudice towards blacks. And then they were called many other names besides blacks or African Americans. Coloreds was a common name.

I still have much of that prejudice instilled in me. Although I believe we are born into the evil of this world, I also believe love & hate are learned & although we all possess the traits of good & evil, it's what we choose to let rule our life that makes us.

As a quilter, color is an important factor in what I do. Even shades of one color can be very striking or bland depending on how they are used. If you think about it there is color everywhere. It's one of those gifts from God that make the world beautiful. And we as people are all colored, all different shades of color.

I thought Mary was gonna cry talking about this. She reached for me for a hug. Told her I was hot & sweaty, but she didn't care. If she had started crying, my heart would have melted. Then I couldn't be the tough broad life has made me. I would have cried too.

So in parting I told her, "I guess we just needed each other." So that's the history lesson here. We do all need each other. Each of us has a part to play in someones life. We chose whether for good or evil, love or hate.


  1. First of all you never talk too much on the forum.
    Second, what a lovely post. I moved around alot growing up and as the new kid all the time I so appreciated those that opened their circle to include me. It doesn't always happen.
    I think in our electronic age we tend to forget that there are real people and that we all need other people at least sometimes.

  2. I came to read your story from Pat's Forum. Oh, I'm so glad I did! How moving and your interpretation of the events is wonderful. We definitely have an effect on each other. It would be so boring if we were all the same. Thanks for sharing. Sarah

  3. I agree with Beth--this is a lovely post. I, too, grew up in the South (Louisiana) in the 60's and 70's. Thanks for letting me remember those times.

  4. I agree, you don't talk too much, I think we all have a common bond, and we all care about what the other is saying, but don't always know how to say the words.
    I, too, grew up in that era. Even while in grade school, I remember "families" moving in our neighborhoods. I was all ready in the south but then we moved to FL and had mandatory bussing - never made sense to have to stay on a bus, just so you could integrate the schools. But I had some of the sweetest friends who I only saw at school, but friends just the same. I do believe we all need each other, and supposed to help each other if we are able without prejudice or expecting something in return. It always comes back around!
    I'm so happy you had that chance meeting, which wasn't chance, it was the Lord's doings. You do make a difference!! Hugs!!
    Google won't let me sign in so going to try as anonymous - Linda P

  5. Thanks for your comments. I always need feedback since my family doesn't read it. Google Blogger has been doing that lately, not letting you sign in right. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.