Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Parent's Dreams for Me

It is funny how somethings come to your mind out of nowhere. That happened to me recently. I can remember that my parents had dreams for me as an adult. For some reason Daddy wanted me to be a teacher and Mother wanted me to be a nurse. I never actually became either of those, but to some degree I have fulfilled their dreams for me.

Even though I did not become a teacher I did begin in that direction. When I entered college that was my goal; however, as so often happens, that just did not work out for me. I completed my first two years at the local junior college and was all ready to transfer to the University of Alabama. This was in 1963 and we all know the unrest in the colleges at that time. Anyway for whatever reason, I went to Mother and asked her if she would care if I didn't leave that day for the University. Now mind you, clothes were packed, dorm room attained, classes planned, the whole bit, but I just could not leave. Mother could not understand why, but she knew me well enough that she consented for me to "delay" the rest of my college career. Now looking back I realize that God had a reason for me not going. In just a few short weeks an event happened in our lives that was totally unexpected.

I had gotten a part-time job after deciding not to leave and since we were a one car family then (everybody was back then) I had to ride to work with Daddy. This particular day I only worked half a day, but when I got home Mother was waiting and told me to go back and get Daddy. He had gotten sick and needed to come home and go to the doctor. As soon as we got back Mother took him to the doctor who wanted him to go to the VA hospital, but Daddy refused saying he had work that had to go out. A side note here: Daddy was a dental technician and was paid strictly on commission - no work, no pay. So the doctor settled for him to go home and straight to bed. Daddy did that and we thought he would be OK after some rest. I went over to some friends house to play Canasta, but when I went by Grandmother's to get my sister she said to get back to the house immediately. When I did I found out Daddy had died. My world fell apart as did Mother's and my brothers and sister. Those were some of the longest days of my life. I would not sleep at night and when I did I had the most awful real-like dreams. I never told anyone and in the process I lost about twenty pounds in just a matter of three months. Anyway, that was the reason I did not leave that Sunday afternoon for Tuscaloosa. I just did not know it then.

As far as becoming a nurse. Forget it. I couldn't stand to see anyone else get sick and didn't like the sight of my own blood and forget it if someone had to have a shot. So in my mind that was not even an option.

Fast forward several years. In 1968 my high school counselor had gone to work in the central office of the local board of education and they had an opening for a clerk. He asked if I was interested and I took it. This was just a great chance to advance. Then in October Joe and I got married and he left for Ft. Eustis, VA. for his duty station. I would go up when he got base housing. That happened in February. I resigned my job and Trina and I move off to Virginia. I forgot to say that Trina was my child from a previous marriage and she was part of the package deal, to which Joe quickly agreed. We had our own little government apartment and it was so beautiful. We only stayed there until August when Joe was deployed, again, for Vietnam. Here we go back to Alabama. After that year it was off to South Carolina for a few months and then Joe was assigned to recruiting duty in Tuscaloosa. Then fourteen months later he was transferred to the recruiting office in Jasper and there he stayed until retirement. While in T'town we had our son.

In 1975 I decided to go back to work and found a job in payroll at the local board of education. This began my career in education. From there I went to the school where I had attended and the children were now attending. I stayed there until June 2000 when I retired after 25 years. So even though I didn't teach I did work in education and in my own way, I feel I impacted a lot of young lives. Daddy's dream was fulfilled.

After retirement, I got busy in other things. I began attending the ladies' Bible class on Tuesday morning and always had a good day with the other "girls." Over time this day evolved into a work day as our group began to do volunteer work for one of the hospice units. We would cook, package and freeze meals that the nurses would deliver to the patients and their families. This was not because the families could not afford the food, but because often times the care givers were so tired they just did not feel up to cooking. For whatever reasons, they got food. This has now grown to doing meals for not just one but two units. So rewarding.

Then in 2007 I decided to do volunteer work with the auxiliary at the hospital, the same hsopital that Mother has retired from in the late 80's. I was put in the gift shop and soon found myself eagerly awaiting Fridays. Then it hit me one day that even though I did not become a nurse I was "working" around a hospital. Our pay is not much (lunch on the days we work), but the rewards are worth more than any paycheck. So Mother, in a way, your dream has been fulfilled. I told my supervisor one day that when I put on my white pants, shoes, and blouse and then put on my pink smock and walk down the halls, I feel like I am walking in Mother's footsteps.

I am a rambling type of writing, so if you happen to stop by my blog and it looks like you have picked up a novel, fear not, it is I. I have always loved to write and even at one time considered journalism.

I hope the day has been good for you and that this week you will find a blessing in your life.

1 comment:

Trina said...

Yea! Your first post. And it, as everything you write, is wonderful.

Isn't it funny how those little things we do or don't do often have huge implications? Sometimes we realize them pretty quickly, but other times, it may take years. And then there are those that we never realize.

Love you!