There are some women and men I'd like to find...to thank them, to see how beautiful I know they have become in their wisdom. I cannot find them. I found two on FB (I think). But let me tell you who they are and a tinchy little bit about why I long to hear them.
Kay Anders: the best history teacher I ever had, loved on me like a little sister and shared her river with me.
Pat Ballard: there are not literally enough words to convey what this woman gave to me. she told me once--not sure where we were camping--that I was a miracle. And I believed her because of the love in her eyes.
Alea Giles: who gave such kindness to me when I was grasping for support in surviving.
Mona Williams: the babysitter I had in Louisiana. I think I was about four...but three things about her that have burned her memory into me...1. There were large and misty woods (as I remember) behind our house and we would walk so quietly through them so as not to disturb the fairies and witches). 2. She was a hippie feminist who my Dad did not like. 3. When I was learning to swim, I desperately wanted to jump off the diving board like a big girl. Mona got in the deep end and she encouraged me to jump with all that I had...and I did...right smack dab onto the side of the pool. ER visit and blood, but no regret.
Ms. McGowan: the music teacher that gave me the freedom to project from my abdomen and sing as if it was the only thing to do to continue breathing.
Ms. Martin: my 5th grade Math teacher..I had just moved to a new school and I was not thrilled about it. People made fun of my clothes and were quite brutal to me all year until we moved again. Ms. Martin saw that I had a need to be seen and she ate lunch with me often and gave me (along with all her other students) a homemade painted Santa Christmas ornament and signed the back. Her compassion for my situation changed me.
Faye Holland: she showed me what a real lady looked and sounded like. She was so beautiful and lovely in spirit that her class inspired me to try to become a lady like her someday.
Lisa Thomas: who taught me that winter is part of love and life and that giving of yourself is a natural inclination for most people.
Virginia Burris: who did not let me quit Grad School because I was so homesick...told me an excellent and true story about how when she came to the Northeast from Texas...she got real rebellious...started listening to country music and bought cowboy boats which she would've never been caught dead in in the actual Lone Star State...I played Loretta Lynn very loud that day and I stayed in school.
There are so many more and I'm going to not let me memories of them fade into the horizon. No matter where I've been in my life (and I've lived a LOT of places) there have been so many woman and and men that came along and did such extraordinary things for me and I didn't have the maturity to see them and give back to them what they gave to me. I mean to make this right.
And don't think that I haven't continued to be found...there are literally hundreds of you that I get to stay in touch with (no matter the frequency) that are also on this list. But I believe that pain lodges memories in your body and during serious injury--certain things rise to the surface that are long buried. Emotions of helplessness that you felt as a child...and all you can do listen to your own bit of hard-earned smarts and remind yourself that you have never been alone.