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.
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.
What are you thankful for?