Posts Tagged ‘college’

A friend used to joke, “I’m like marble. I don’t want to be taken for granite.”

So goofy.

It’s true though. No one wants to be taken for granted.

But most of us do take people and things for granted at times. We just don’t think about it on a daily basis. Until we don’t have them.

Last Spring, my neighborhood in Kuala Lumpur lost internet connection for the entire day. Thank Jesus for the fancy iPhones so everyone could whine about it in group chats.

Wait, don’t folks around the world lose water, electricity and more every single day? If they even ever had access to them at all.

Luckily, I was out running errands. So the internet outage didn’t totally destroy me. And I had my phone 🙂

One of the errands was dropping off a carload of donations to a housing complex where many refugees live. It made me realize the clothes and household items we can sometimes take for granted.

That afternoon, I went with my then 12th grade daughter to school for her last day as president of a club she started three years ago.

This club allowed refugee students from a nearby volunteer run school to be bussed to her campus so they could play games, use the sports facilities, etc. It made be conscious of how something like a simple school campus can be taken for granted.

I was watching these lovely young girls and boys playing basketball and cheering for each other. Kids from Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.

So many children displaced from so many countries around the world. Due to war and violence. A stark reminder that we can take our security for granted.

As my daughter was saying goodbye to her refugee friends they told her, “We will miss you.”

One young girl told her, “You’re so lucky you can go to college.”

Okay, wow. My daughter never really looked at it like that. It was taken for granted that there would be the opportunity for her to attend college.

Now this is totally human. We don’t tend to think about these things-these absolute gifts- all the time. Or think about the people-these absolute gifts in our lives- all the time. It’s really not sustainable to constantly be in a state of such focus.

But we should take more time to realize who and what we might be taking for granted. We absolutely should take more time to be mindful and appreciative of the gifts, comforts and blessings bestowed upon us. Communicate love and gratefulness.

We do plenty of things without giving them a single thought like…….

Hopping into the hot shower. Snuggling under the warm blanket with spouse, kid or pet. Turning on the tap and expectantly hold a glass under it. Waking up feeling fit and energetic. Flicking on the light. Cracking open the fridge. Pursing our lips for the perfunctory kiss at the front door. Saying the rote “I love you.” Opening the wallet. Closing the car door with the habitual thank you response.

Until we no longer have or we are faced with no longer having…..

Hot water. The warm cover over our bodies. The spouse, kid or pet no longer there. The surety that water will flow into the glass. Good health. The person at the front door. Electricity. The loved one on the other end of the telephone line. Money. The beloved parent in the car dropping you off one more time.

I wish all of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving a wonderful visit with family and friends. Enjoy and appreciate this special day. A perfect time to remember that the gifts, comforts and blessings in our lives should be like marble and not taken for granted.

To those who are not celebrating the holiday I wish you the same. A day of giving thanks.

One last thing. I’m very thankful for you all.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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Reading

It’s that time again.

When colleges or universities attempt to somehow know the applicant a little better. With their prompt questions. If you were a tree what type of tree would you be?

Okay, maybe not that exactly.

But sometimes there are the questions like, “Which book impacted your life?”

 

I am thinking I might say, “All of them.”

If it were me  (and it’s not)  I would be ready to list all of the books that had some impact on my life.

Then I thought, “It’s not the books.”

It’s being able to read the books. Being able to read anything at all.

My mother-in-law, who is living with me at the moment, is ninety years old.

And illiterate.

She has raised literate and successful children. But she came from a place and time where the education of young women was an option for parents. And as we all know parents can sometimes be a crap shoot.

If you are reading this right now do you realize the gift you have?

You can read the street sign. The map. You do not have to rely on others for your menu choices at a restaurant. You are able to read the newspaper. Help your child with their homework. You are able to fill out the arrival information on your plane trip.

Imagine not being able to read.  For a second.

The folks at the college admissions might need to rethink their questions.

Maybe something like, “How has reading impacted your life?”

Forget the books.

 

 

 

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It’s the end of the school year. A busy time of year.

Still have one more year with my youngest. But it sort of hit me this last month or so. Only one more year before she leaves.

I am sure it will be difficult. Especially if I am still overseas and she attends college back home.

One of my friends is now teaching her daughter how to prepare certain meals.

That’s practical.

Me, on the other hand, literally forced my daughter to watch “Rocky.” She had never seen it.

I have a list in my head of things she needs to read, see and learn before we send her off next year.

Because we will have to let her go. That is a fact.

I remember when our eldest was taking the car out on her own for the very first time. She was heading to her job at a strawberry farm. Couple of towns away.

Beautiful weather so rain wouldn’t be a problem. Lovely roads so that also wouldn’t be a cause for concern.

Her Dad and I were still a bit nervous once she left the house.

Finally, he says, “I’m going to follow her to make sure she’s okay.”

I was like, “Yes, please do!”

Half an hour later he comes back. I asked him how it went.

He smiled and said, “Great! And she was so glad to see me. She was waving at me.”

We both felt so relieved.

When she arrived home later in the day I asked her about the driving. Also mentioned that she was waving at her father.

She told me she was actually waving him away. That she was doing perfectly fine on her own.

I laughed out loud.

That’s a very good thing. She was prepared to drive on her own. We had ensured that this was the case.

Sure, we still worried.

But the best thing we can do for our children is to make sure that they are ready to go.

Then we will know that we have done our job properly.

Even if it hurts. Even if we worry.

 

 

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