Posts Tagged ‘reading’

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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On Monday, Rory left us in Malaysia to head back to California to finish up her last year of college. We had a few good weeks with her here so we were and are thankful.

Early that morning, even before I posted my Facebook status that she was leaving, I received a message. Out of the blue. Very unexpected. From the daughter of a friend of mine in Texas. She had never emailed me before that day.

It was very complimentary. I really didn’t even feel that I was deserving of her words.

But it truly lifted me up. And I needed it on that particular day.

I remember reading an article about five years ago. Basically, it said it was important to let others know how you feel. How grateful you were if someone helped you. Taught you. Guided you. It suggested writing a letter to a family member, an old friend, mentor or teacher. Terrific idea!

In 1997, I attended a parish/school reunion with my entire family. My second grade teacher, Sr. Mercia, was there. We caught up and laughed. She was very good-humored. A hot ticket as they used to say.  When I was leaving I heard her say to the other women in the group, “I always liked that kid.”

I was over thirty years old at the time. But it still made me feel great.

So, years later, after being prompted by that article, I wrote to thank this particular person. Not for liking me or for pulling out my wiggling baby teeth. But to let her know that I was appreciative of her commitment. To let her know that she had an important role in my life. I admired her choice to dedicate her entire life to teaching. Without a partner. Without her own children. Devoted to God and second graders while eschewing many of the material goods that most of us couldn’t imagine living without.  I wanted her to know that she was and had been appreciated, valued and loved.

I knew her address. From time to time, my mom would keep me updated on Sister Mercia. When she was battling breast cancer and beating it. Where she was currently living.

But by the time that letter was signed, sealed and delivered to her door it was just a little too late. Sister Mercia was older and had Alzheimer’s. She wouldn’t have understood my words of gratitude and love.

I was glad that I wrote the letter but very sad that she would not be able to read the words. The woman who taught me to read. She would never know how I felt. I waited too long.

So, if there is someone who helped, nurtured, guided or loved you then go ahead and drop them a few lines. Out of the blue. You will absolutely make their day.

I guarantee it.

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