Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Being Thankful

Being Thankful

We don't always get to see how the ripples from the stone we cast into the pond of life affect the far distant shore.
Ripple effect on water
As some of you may know, I worked at a home of abused, neglected, and emotionally disturbed kids whose life stories are the stuff of fiction except for the horrifying fact that the stories were true. When I arrived in 1980 my intention was to volunteer for six months and then go back home to the islands. 23 years later I retired.

In those early years I did a little bit of everything. I slopped pigs, milked the cow, worked in the garden, helped build buildings, kept bees. In between those jobs I houseparented. Within a few years I was the assistant editor for the newsletter that went out to about ten thousand people around the U. S. and the world. Eventually I settled in as the librarian which pretty much remained my primary job for 18 years. Being the librarian meant I was also the keeper of kids who were home sick (school hours was downtime for houseparents), kids who were suspended from school, kids who were new and not yet enrolled in school, kids who were in a kind of alternative school program (they got work from the school, but it was done "at home.") Consequently I was nursemaid, anger defuser, introductory first adult (outside of a houseparent) and tutor, to name just a few of thing I did. (I read with them, colored with them, taught them how to make paper airplanes, did crafts, put jigsaw puzzles together...)

I loved working with and being around the kids.

Recently the home held it's 40th anniversary. I got to see kids I haven't seen is in over 30 years. Many are now in their late 40s early 50s. (OMG!)

I have seen where the ripples have gone.
There are so many families... that chain of abuse broken for good.
There is a 4****star  chef, an industrial engineer, a jewelry designer and maker, an oil company electrician, nurses, health care providers, teachers, administrators...

And these are just some of the things said to me.
"The first day I met you you looked at ME, and saw ME, not words in a file."
"You are the constant."
"You taught me about love because you were always talking about love."
"Because of you my home is full of books."
"You taught me there were more than 8 colors in the crayon box. You taught me to live in color."
"I used to pretend to be sick so I could stay with you in the library and read."
"Thanks for the gift you are."
"I always enjoyed spending time with you in the library. You inspired me to keep reading, to never give up on myself. You are amazing."
I haven't cried so much in a long, long time. Copious buckets of tears of joy. I was so stuffed with heart and soul food I'm still digesting.

And without a doubt I know this to be true: If I do nothing else with my life, if I never write or publish another book, never post another blog, never share another picture on facebook, or tweet another tweet, it won't matter. 

What matters is that I have seen where the ripples have gone. They have traveled to the far distant shore working magic and miracles. Some continue to travel outwards, but some have bounced off that far distant shore, and returned back to me. That is a gift for which I will be forever thankful.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
Khalil Gibran

What are you thankful for?


  1. How awesome that you had a reunion with the kids that you worked with and that they remember the big impact you had on their lives. What a great experience and your job sounds so fulfilling.

    1. Thanks, Natalie. I'm so humbled and honored to have been (and in some cases continue to be) a part of their lives.

  2. You had me in tears this morning--happy ones. What a full and beautiful life you've lived, and what full and beautiful life you've made possible for others.

    1. They are star children, Lee. That I could help push away a few clouds to help them shine is/was an honor and privilege.

  3. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one all teary because of this! What wonderful work you have wrought, Bish. You have been an inspiration and what a lovely gift to get to see your 'ripples' in action.

  4. Awesome! A fantastic accomplishment. People are the most important. Always.

  5. Dear Bish, I’ve cried all the way through your post but what a wonderful testament to your goodness and your faith in other people. How amazing to see so many young people doing well thanks in no small part to you.

  6. That must have been amazing to see what a difference you made to their lives. You definitely created a lot of positive ripples!

  7. Lovely, lovely post! What a wonderful influence you were, and we don't always have the chance to see the impact of that of people's lives. <3 this so much!

  8. Hi Bish - what a truly wonderful post ... amazing read - so thoughtful and such a great gift you've been able to give these kids ... time to develop their own ways and to benefit from living a life ... so brilliant you were able to get back to see some of them and to learn their later stories ... excellent read - cheers and congratulations on a life well led, and a job well done ... as you say the rest is minor to the help you were able to give here. Fantastic - cheers Hilary

  9. Wonderful post, and how rewarding to see the fruits of your labor! You touched these children and helped to guide them at a crucial time when the outcome could have been so much different.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!