Friday, June 29, 2007

You Just Never Know

I took the kids to the pool today. I normally avoid the pool on Fridays as the local youth programs attend on this day. I'm not against the programs, but there were just bunches and bunches of kids. I had a little run in with the lifeguards as they were over capacity in the tot pool. I took my littlest to the potty and they wouldn't let me back into the tot pool area. I respect their policy, but not the enforcement. I had children unattended in there and it isn't my fault they let those day programs invade on those of us who have paid....OK....I'm way off base at the moment, but I think you might get the sense of my mood.

I had a few words with one of the guards and then went in, re-camped in my chair and reclaimed children. A woman came over, asked if she could spread her stuff next to me and introduced herself as Susie. A very interesting dialogue ensued. She had two little ones (4 or 5 years old) plus an older child with her. She said to me that her family had experienced serious tragedy this past week and she was giving the kids a break. Giving herself one as well. Now, it isn't every day someone opens up a conversation like that. I didn't ask questions, though. I was still a little grumpy with the "too many in the facility" encounter.

She continued talking with me (OK....I finally put my magazine away and engaged....I wish I was a bigger person at times, but I'm not). She proceeded to tell me she was a retired prison guard and her husband was retired from law enforcement. They have spent the past 13 years of "retirement" building community. Her philosophy was very interesting. She talked at length about how kids just are clued out and if you only have 15 minutes with them then make it a good 15 minutes. Don't let them walk away without them knowing you care, and be bold enough to give advice. Don't keep it to yourself. She isn't a believer, but she does believe in the power of adult influence on a child's life. She said her front door is always open and kids wander in and out. They know they are only allowed to read and play board games in her front room. They also aren't allowed to call adults by their first name unless there is a miss or mr. in front of it.

She has seen the bad side of life. She shared with me the types of information she would read in case files. Ugghhh....she and her husband decided when they retired they wanted to help on the other end of life. She said, "retirement isn't for sitting around you know." OK...I now was hooked. I asked about the tragedy. It was her daughter and husband that were in a local car accident on the grade last week. The one where the unborn grandchild was killed....

She shared in detail about helping her daughter deliver her stillborn granddaughter. She had held her in her arms and told me she was as perfect as they come. She kept wishing that child would just breath. This gal is so thankful her daughter and husband are OK. They are badly hurt (broken bones and deep internal bruising). Her husband, who was in law enforcement and had high speed driving training (he was the passenger) had enough wherewithal to lean over and get between his daughter and the steering wheel. It was an older car without air bags. As he leaned over he grabbed the gear shift and jammed it into neutral. The medical personnel said this action saved the daughter's life. It left him with 5 broken ribs, broken sternum, bruised heart and injured lungs.

The emotional wounds are deep. I didn't push on this gals lack of faith, but just kept interjecting my praises into the conversation. This gal said being at the pool for just a couple of hours was a great break (and I had been internally complaining about the amount of kids etc...Oi.) She was very thankful to live in our community. I wished she knew the Lord. I have a funny feeling I might run into this gal again.

You just never know the divine appointments the Lord makes for you!

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