Sunday, July 14, 2002

Dreams Deferred

This is a paper I helped my mother write for her college class at Texas Tech...

I wanted to be a waitress. I wanted a red gingham apron and maybe even a pair of skates like the car hops. I practiced serving dinner to my family at home, with my mothers help, of course. I wanted to be a waitress. I thought they got to eat all the leftovers. That was the real hook. Talk about a benefit package! But my mother told me you don’t get to eat everything you want and my aunt told me that people are mean to you sometimes.

So, looking for a new career, I watched people at work. I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I loved school. Teachers were always happy. And really, I wanted the big desk. But I fell in love with my high school sweetheart. And I chose to get married instead of going to college.

So I thought, “ok, a wife and mother. That’s not such a bad racket.” But while my husband was away being an electronics teacher at a business college, I was bored so I started going to school and helping a lady grade papers. A fellow student told me about a job opening. My husband decided we could use the money; so I went to work as a typist. It was too hard to work, keep house, and go to school so I quit going to school – again.

Ten years later, my dream of being a mother was fulfilled. Heather was everything I ever dreamed of: cute, funny, smart. We had so much fun together. I dressed her up, read to her, taught her, danced with her, laughed with her and cried with her.

When she was nine years old, the dream of being a wife died. So I put all my energies into my job and my two daughters. Quickly my job was at a dead end. I’d had all the titles, been in all the positions and mastered the skills. There was nothing else for me to do there so I just put in my time. My personal life was the source of my joy. The three of us had so much fun participating in school functions, going to church, and planning Camp Fire Girl activities. I relished watching them grow.

Before I knew it our time was almost over. The summer before Heather was going to be a sixteen-year-old senior in high school, she was going to a youth conference and I went along as a sponsor. She was planning on going out of state to college in a year. My dream was going to end again. I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. During the conference, I chose to attend a workshop about Chuck Colson. He had to have a job to get out of prison after Watergate and the only place that would hire him was an orphanage. The vivid images of hurting children consumed my senses. I was struck. The children looked just like the ones I taught in my Sunday School class, but their eyes told me that they were hurting and just wanted someone to love them. I could do that but I had two daughters and a job. It would be so hard to let go of the security of my long time career and all the benefits I had accumulated. Thoughts of that film came back to me consistently throughout the week. I just could not let go of the pictures of they eyes of those children. I started to dream that I could do something like that when the girls left home. I began to dream aloud to others.

Ten years after Chuck Colson’s experiences planted the possibilities of a dream, my youngest daughter announced that she was moving. She was gone the following weekend. Over the next thirty days, I retired from my job of 36 years, sold my home and moved to Lubbock. Since the day I saw that video, I’d said that, ‘once the girls left home, I was going to make a difference in the lives of children.’ My first day as a Lubbock resident, I was hired by the Children’s Home of Lubbock to be a relief house parent and by Trinity Schools to be a substitute teacher. I was going to make a difference here.

Both daughters have always told me that I should go to college – become a teacher. And Summer I of 2003, I became a college freshman. I’m going to be a great teacher.

Dreams do come true after all and I couldn’t be happier.
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