Sunday, January 10, 2016
Sunday Night Reflections
Earlier this week, I lost my driver's license. The realization lead to panic and then a frantic search. I looked in places where I knew it couldn't be, but maybe, just maybe it would be there. No luck. While I searched, my husband was waiting for me in the car. He had gone out, thinking that I would follow in just a few minutes.
The more I looked, the more reality set in that the license was gone. What do I do? Should I tell my husband and risk him being upset with me, or should I just keep it to myself and do my best to find it?
My school career began in Fort Worth, Texas. The first year of school was spent learning our ABC's, learning to print, and doing simple math projects. Our second grade year was a continuation of the same, but with more advanced reading and math. Remember, this is before the age of computers! The curriculum was set up so that when we returned and began our third year, we would then learn to cursive write.
Between my second and third year of school, my family moved to Kentucky. We lived in a very rural area where coal mining was the primary source of income for most of the families. To enter the school, I had to walk across a swinging bridge that was suspended over a creek. There was a coal mine just a short distance from the school. The coal dust hung in the air as if someone was smoking and never put out their cigarette. To try and control the dust, there was a heavy layer of oil on the floors. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.
During my first two years of school, I worked hard and did everything I could to bring home a good report card. Within moments of my first day in the new school, panic overcame me. The teacher went to the chalkboard and wrote out our assignments for the day...in cursive writing!!! I couldn't read what she wrote. I quickly learned that in their curriculum, the children had learned to cursive write at the end of their second grade year. What was I going to do? How would I ever be able to catch up? Rather than speaking up and telling the teacher that I was behind and that I needed help, I put all of the responsibility on myself, as if it was my fault. As I looked through our Spelling book, I saw that all of the letters of the alphabet were printed and next to the printed letter was the cursive form of the letter. I went home that evening and spent hours practicing, page upon page of cursive letters. By the next day, I was at least able to read what was on the board, and by the end of the week, I could write sentences and complete my homework.
When I got in the car, I took a deep breath and told my husband that I had lost my license. He replied that he wondered what was taking me so long. He didn't get angry, but began thinking of where I might possibly have lost it. Earlier in the week, I had the license in a pocket where I also had my phone. We had stopped at a restaurant for lunch. While we were there, I pulled out my phone to check my messages. I thought that maybe, just maybe the license had slipped out when I pulled out my phone. We went to the restaurant, and sure enough, they had found it on the floor and had it safely waiting for me in the cash register. I was relieved and my husband was so happy. What touched me was that through it all, he never expressed anger over the situation, he never asked why I wasn't more careful, and when it was found, he celebrated...for me.
As I thought about my husband's reaction to the situation of the lost license, the memory of having to quickly learn to cursive write came back to me. I thought it rather strange that I would remember that story in conjunction with a lost license. Then I realized the connection, I kept my mouth shut and took on the responsibility of learning to cursive write out of fear of being in trouble, it was just easier to try and find a solution on my own.
When I came back with the license in my hand, my husband said, "I am so happy for you!" So sweet, but I was also amazed as a lost license would also affect him. Taking on the responsibility of learning to cursive write, all on my own, was quite a feat for an 8 year old. The sad part about it was that once I learned, no one knew what I had done, no congratulations, no praise.
After all these years, I learned a little something new, especially about myself and how I have worked over my life to protect my spirit. I also learned how important it is to have someone in our lives who loves us, with whom we feel safe. To have someone in your life who wants the best for you is truly a blessing.