One of the great benefits of writing is I have a reason to go through old stuff. My husband and I have downsized our lives at least three times over the past two years. In light of these moves, I’ve been shocked with some of the little things that have survived.
Today, the clipping and the pictures fell together in what I would call a God wink. What’s a God wink, you ask? I think most people would call it a coincidence. SQuire Rushnell describes it as an experience where you’d ask yourself, what are the odds of that? It’s like when you were a kid and sitting across the table from someone you love when they’d wink at you. You knew what that wink meant–they were thinking about you. God does the same–a God wink is His way of letting you know He is thinking of you and all will be okay.
For me, one of the greatest gifts of aging has been the ability to look back on my life. To see how certain people came into my life–or re-entered my life–at the moment when I needed them the most.
My family moved from Traer, Iowa, to Waterloo, Iowa the summer before my freshman year. That move was tough and made for a very hard summer. I worried every day about how I was going to handle being the new kid in a new school. I wouldn’t know anyone.
My Dad remembered another family who had moved from Traer to Waterloo. He found a way to contact them and gave them our home phone number. Within a few days, JoLyn contacted me, asking me where I was going to go to school. I told her West Junior. She quickly told me that she would also be going to West Junior.
Oh my God–the answer to my prayers. I would not be all alone.
What made her special was what she did next. It was a few days before school started and she knew the building was open. We set up a time to meet and she took me to the main office so I could turn in paperwork, showed me around the building, and gave me the tour of the other buildings on campus. That year we did not have any classes together but she checked on me often and made sure I was doing okay. In a big school, I always knew she was there if I needed her.
Debby Small was my neighbor and a year ahead of me in school. It was Debby’s house where I would go whenever I needed to get away. I loved going to the Smalls because their family was busy, loud, and loving. At least that is how I saw them. Debby had two brothers and two sisters and there was always something happening. I loved being in the mix because it felt real to me. They were the first family I saw being normal–if I came over and there was a fight in progress, the fight continued. There was no stopping because the neighbor kid was there.
At my house–things like that happened behind closed doors.
What my family didn’t seem to realize was, even though the doors were closed, the windows were still wide open. It was Tom and Karen Sink who clued me in about that.
Tom and Karen moved next door shortly after we moved in. They were a young couple with a toddler who needed a babysitter. After a few months of babysitting, they shared with me that they could hear some of the things happening at our house.
Our house was a house in constant turmoil. My Dad had remarried. There were problems. Tom and Karen knew. Tom and Karen took my sisters and me under their wings. I am not sure where any of us would be today without them.
These four people came into my life when I needed them the most.
I am still amazed and forever grateful.
Have a great weekend.
I love you.