Sometimes topics just don’t flow for those of us who are writers so I decided to look in my handy-dandy writing book for a prompt to write about today. Here’s the prompt:
Write about a teacher or mentor who changed your life, for either good or bad.
I have many people who have changed my life over the years so it was hard to pick just one. But, one I did. Here’s my story.
A SECOND MOTHER
A second mother, that is what Carolyn Mitchell is to me. I met Carolyn over 25 years ago and was immediately cognizant of her motherly appearance and the warmth of her smile which shined like a rainbow. Her Southern accent was enthusiastic as she welcomed me, a college student, to her church. She was always pushing her wide-rimmed glasses up on her face which framed her bright, blue eyes and seemed to have boundless energy with her groups at church.
She was always on the go, but she made time for me and welcomed me into her family. I have never seen her be unwelcoming to anyone, always willing to give a hug, always willing to share the love of Christ with anyone who came across her path. Her home was a ministry where she cooked and showed her gift of hospitality. For the longest time, I would smell a home-cooked meal and think of Carolyn.
Her family meant everything to her. After her family though, the question she would ask of people who came across her path was, “What can I do to help you?” If she could do something, it would get done; a lot of times without the knowledge of the person involved. There were many who were like family to her, and I felt privileged to be among those people. As the years passed, I met the man who became my husband, and we had two children. Since I was a part of her family, they became a part of her family with her insisting that our boys call her and her husband Grandma Carolyn and Grandpa David.
I moved away from the town we both lived in eighteen years after we met. Her blonde, curly hair had begun to gray, and her movements were not as quick as they once had been. I knew that we would always be welcome though, and when we would visit in the intervening years, it seemed as nothing had changed with her warm smile and light lilting Southern accent always representing home to us.
Six years later, we moved back to the same state. When my mother-in-law passed away, Carolyn’s talents in the kitchen were shown on our behalf once more, and the smells and sounds of what she represented warmed our hearts as we grieved our loss.
We lived in our old town for two years before unemployment forced us to move again. On our last weekend there, Carolyn took me to a laundromat to wash clothes, and I was struck once again about the consistency she had given to our lives. Never changing, always there, and asking what she could do to help us. Her hair had gotten grayer; she cooked in a more healthy manner; and her movements reflected the sixty-year old woman she had become. But she still had the same welcoming smile, the same bright blue eyes, the same willingness to show God’s love to whoever she came in contact with.