Little things I learn about my mom through the simplest of conversations can be my biggest lessons in life. A random afternoon conversation while I was traveling from one job to the next diverted from talk about the weekend to the statement, “Did I ever tell you I didn’t graduate from college on time?”
“Huh. What?” was my reaction, but I held it in as my sweet, almost 70-year-old earthly inspiration told me the interestingly, funny tale of how a beloved professor her senior year, who had entrusted my Mama to teach her Shorthand Class (Google it) in her absence, and often used her as a representative, gave her a “D” resulting in my Mama’s inability to graduate with the Alabama State University Class of 1968. I listened as my Mama told me how she tried her best to sway the teacher into a better grade. Not only did this professor give her a big, fat D, she and the college leader turned down the smooth talkings of my grandfather as he tried to convince them through subtle name dropping to graduate his oldest daughter. They both succeeded in being unsuccessful.
On the verge of truly feeling sorry for the 20-something year old who must have been devastated and embarrassed to no end by not graduating on time, my flirtation with pity on her was quickly interrupted by her sweet, reassuring voice and the confident phrase, “Oh well! Everything worked together for the good of those who love the Lord! It all worked out for me. Had I graduated on time I wouldn’t have gotten that GREAT government job that ASU selected me to work for in Federal Court that year. At my Daddy’s advice I finished the retake of the course I got a D in. I was assigned to do student teaching in the great Robert E. Lee High School and my teacher, Ms. Dixie Hicks ADORED ME. She got married and recommended me as her replacement… and I got your Daddy. The rest is history!”
And just like that, I was served up a mighty lesson from a seasoned teacher in the classroom and in life.
- Oh well!(That pretty much sums up a lot of things which hurt, but will end up helping.)
- Father knows best.
- Things don’t always turn out the way we want them to. (They often turn out better.)
- Sometimes an A, B, or C can’t compete with a new career. (Regardless of a D.) (And by the way, guess who wrote her recommendation for the job…yep, the professor:))
- The thing you think you fail at will be used to help others. (My Mama went on to teach Shorthand (Google it again) to high school students for decades. Like literally, decades.)
- Sometimes a Bae or a Boo end up lasting MUCH longer than an A, B, or C, and certainly the sting of an ill-fated D. (My parents are officially 46 years married in June 2016, still hold hands and still go out on diabetes-approved hot dates!) (Ha! Take that D!)