A new television show began in January and I want in on the beginning. I missed out on Friends, Seinfeld, Lost, and several other hyped programs that you can now watch in late night syndication. This one is called Touch and you can catch it on Fox, Thursdays 9/8c. One more reason Thursday night tv rocks! After watching all four episodes of this first season, I got to thinking about the premise of the show. It’s about this singe dad, Keifer “man-of-the-decade” Sutherland (his dad was brilliant in Ordinary People, 1980) and his special-needs son, Jake, played by David Mazouz. It’s about how people tend to meet in the most unexpected places and for reasons we don’t always understand. That got me to thinking about my own cast of characters I’ve met along the way of my 44 years.
As I’ve stated before, my childhood wasn’t the best of times. My birth mother abandoned me, my dad re-married when I was two, and my not-so-perfect childhood commenced. As a kid who didn’t feel very loved, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not playing the victim here, I know now that my parents loved me and did the best they could, don’t we all as parents?, I believe now that it all happened exactly the way it was planned. Along that path of brokenness, bitterness, anger, and fear, I met people who have shaped me into the woman I am today. And don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near perfect. I still have work to do on becoming a better person. I still get angry when people cut me off in traffic. I scream at the tv when my favorite team loses. And I still cry about the little girl who was abandoned by her birth mother. That one hurts to this day.
When I look back, I see a grade school friend and her family who, to this day, call me sister and daughter. I see a high school senior counselor who took me under his wing when I got detention for fighting. I see a family who took me in when I was kicked out of my own home (ended up stealing cash from them – another blessing I turned to evil.) I see my ex-in-laws who knelt down on the carpet with me, in the middle of my broken marriage , and led me to Christ. I see countless girlfriends along the way who helped me with my daughters. I see a church in Stillwater, who paid for the repairs on a dead vehicle, no questions asked. I see my Papa Bill, who would drive to wherever I was, fix a blown tire. I see a woman I met at OSU, Alpha ’90, who invited me to her house, as a perfect stranger, because we were both from Ponca City, and both single moms. I see a friend from OSU who I would call and cry to because I made a C on a test. I begged her to let me quit my master’s degree program, but she would encourage, constantly lifting me up. I see my daughters, always by my side, no matter what hell I put them through. I see a boss who let me go to class, during my work day. I see my parents and grandparents who stepped in to babysit the granddaughters when I worked two jobs and attended college.
In the next decade, I see Tulsa co-workers at AT&T, who stood by me when things were difficult to understand. I see a young man at Parkland Hospital, we were both involved in the DART bus/train accident, who at 2 am, sitting in a blood / gunshot infested emergency room, bought me a McDonald’s cheeseburger meal because I hadn’t eaten in 17 hours. I see Dallas AT&T co-workers who have taken me in their homes when I was too drunk to drive. I see a group of friends, at my 40th birthday, who I’ve known since 8-9 years old who drove hundred of miles away to celebrate a milestone. I see a neighborhood couple who after meeting them at a pool party, invited me to their Dallas church home. I see a Watermark community group of women who love me despite my weaknesses. I see a woman who was on fire for the Lord before her cancer-filled ridden body died at the age of 35. Her joy for life; I carry with me every day. I see a woman named Ms. Julie who lives in a home that the 2nd Saturday team worked on. She and her falling down home blessed me that day. I see two Jewish women, not related or remotely connected, who encourage me to keep seeking God (I mention it this way because I had never, ever met a Jewish person, much less two, in my life.) I see friends I have only met on Facebook, who have changed what I do and read and say, everyday. That includes my writing partner, Kevin. I see an atheist, who though we have virtually nothing in common, makes me laugh, and makes me want to witness even harder. And finally, I see God working daily in my life. He’s constantly speaking to me and making me think and love and want to do more.
Every single one of those people I mention hold a special spot in my heart. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of someone on that list. And I know I’ve left someone out, but please know, they (you) touched my life. I hope these thoughts help you on your journey. When you think about those people who have touched you and those that you have touched, just remember that there is meaning and purpose to each encounter. Unlike on the tv show where the boy and Keifer bring people together, I don’t believe I do that. I’m just a soul walking thru this temporary home, but we each do have a purpose, we just don’t always know what it is, or how to go about fulfilling it. Like me, you intend to find out what it is and get to it.