The story of our life is the story of our memories.

As time passes all to quickly and days are filled with activity that changes more rapidly than the flying of a  weavers shuttle…our memories of the joys of our days and who mattered and matters to us and our, ‘fuel,’ that fills our engines of motivation…can be replaced by the current cares and concerns and politics of the moment that we are experiencing.


I often reflect on my dear mother and what an advocate that she was for me.  One afternoon, when I returned from school and the second grade, I mentioned that the teacher had taken my arm and shook me, when she became so upset that I did not understand her ‘new’ math.

The next afternoon, just after the last bell had rang and I was proceeding out of the classroom…there was mom entering and she was visibly upset.  She asked my teacher if she had grabbed my arm and shook me…and she replied that she had.

Mom told Ms. Blackwell that if she ever touched me again…that she would ‘kick her ass!’

Ms. Blackwell apologized profusely…and she never shook me again.

My mother never had a lot of money…but if she knew that her friends or family or neighbors or fellow church members were in need…she would quietly give them money….and tell no one about it.

I can see the big tears in my dad’s eyes when a team of doctors examined me and told him that I had a heart murmur.


I, vividly, remember the mystery and excitement and adventure of being newly married and having my sweet wife on my arm…and our dreams for the future.

I can see Aaron in his bassinet in the nursery at Carbondale Memorial Hospital, with his little blue hat on…and how he cried the loudest in the nursery and the attending nurse telling me that he had character!

As we were walking around the DuQuoin Fairgrounds and eating ice cream cones, Jonathon told me that we must save some for Aaron.

I remember being so very poor…and hungry at times…with no money to pay the electric bill and the fear of having my power shut off.

I was so grateful when I was hired at Essex International factory and was assigned to make wire harnesses for Chrysler trucks.  I was paid $1.75 per hour or $14.00 a day.

When I began working at SIU I was amazed at the compliments and kind remarks that I received from both my customers as well as my supervisors.  I knew that I was going to have a wonderful carer with the university.

In Bible School, when I was 7 or 8 years old I was asked to say what I knew about Moses and the exodus of he and the Hebrew nation out of Pharaohs cruel captivity.

When I had finished my little speech…the instructor told me that she had never heard anything like what I had said…and that she thought that I might become a preacher.  The experience made such an indelible impression on me…that I have remembered it until this day…and mark that occurrence as the time that I became a christian.

It is easy to not be able to ‘see the forest for the trees.’

Sometimes as we travel the winding and circuitous road of life…we must climb a hill and look backward at the many twists and turns and priceless experiences that have led to our present moment.




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