Hello to everyone!
First, let me apologize for not posting consistently during February. As some of you know, Dave and I sold our house and moved during the month of February. It was a much larger undertaking than I ever imagined. In fact, I am still surrounded by boxes in the office, but I can get to my desk and laptop, so I’m a happy girl.
Now to today’s topic! This past weekend, I was privileged to participate in a conference sponsored by a local writers group to which I belong – SonRise Writers Group. Our guest for the weekend was Shelley Hitz, founder of Author Audience Academy. It was a fantastic conference! In visiting Shelley’s website later, I saw where she had posted a blog last year when she turned 40, listing 40 people who had made a difference in her life. She challenged those who read the blog to do the same or something similar such as “Make It Matter Monday.” So, I’ll be posting every Monday about a person or persons who have made a difference in my life!
Obviously, the first two people I must give credit to are my parents, the late Edward and Hazel Evans. They blessed me from the minute I was born until even today. I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home where we attended Mills Chapel Baptist Church. We lived less than a block from there and only in the most inclement weather, did we ride in the car to church. And we were there every time the church doors were open! But more importantly, I remember many, many nights when the TV was turned off, Daddy opened his Bible and read from the scriptures, and then we all, my sister, Marie, myself, Mother & Daddy would pray. Even after my sister and I had moved out, Mother & Daddy continued this tradition. And when we, or anyone, visited overnight, we were “invited” to join with them in their evening prayer. As our families grew, they named off everyone in their immediate family: my sister and her husband, their three sons, daughter-in-laws and their eight grandchildren, me and my husband, my two children and my grandson. Had they been living when my children married, I’m positive they would have named their spouses. And they called them by name – not just saying “their children and grandchildren” but called each one by name. And even as their minds became a little less sharp than before, they never forgot one name.
Not only did they leave us with such a wonderful Christian heritage, they left us with values to live by and gifts to appreciate. No, they didn’t have much money to leave us, but they left us with something far more important. My mother left me with the gift of giving. In the days when she was still able to be in the kitchen cooking, she would make a meal or bake a dessert for someone who had just come home from the hospital – or who had been sick at home and unable to cook – or to someone who had a relative that had passed. Not only did she teach me the gift of giving, but she demonstrated the obedience to scripture as she took care of the widows in our neighborhood. Usually around September, my mother would start buying lots of little gift items-soaps, lotion, talcum powder (as it was called back then), etc. At Christmas time she would make small gift baskets for all the widows in our neighborhood. She would let me help put the baskets together and we would put our coats on and deliver the baskets and visit with each widow for a few minutes. Even as a child, I recognized the looks of delight on these women’s faces when they saw us at the door.
My father taught and demonstrated to me a strong work ethic. He remained at one job for many years until the plant closed down and then went to another plant where he remained for over 30 years until he retired. He stayed at home for about a year or so, and then went to work part time. If he was out sick, you knew he must be desperately ill, because he rarely took a sick day. But the one thing I remember most was what he told me when I started my first teen-age job. He said to me, “Remember. You are not irreplaceable. There is always someone who is better equipped to do your job.” I knew my daddy was not saying that I couldn’t do the job, but rather that I had to give it 150% every day.
So although you are not here to read this, thank you Daddy and Mother for the Christian upbringing you gave to Marie and me, for the values and ethics you taught us, and for the love you gave us. We miss you both very much!