Leaving the area around
Plano, Texas was a most difficult thing to do. I knew there was an
earlier pioneering family who had lived in this windswept area with a
disabled child because of the photographs I had seen of them. They must
have been great believers in taking care of their own as well as being
beloved by the people because everything about the town was established
so the person in a wheelchair could function. The library was on a flat
foundation and easy for Rhonda to use. The librarian gave us extra
attention. She arranged for Rhonda to receive the talking books. All we
had to do was drop them in a mail box from any location in the country.
In a little while another set arrives in our mailbox.
In town the curbs were
all flattened at the crosswalks so it was no problem to walk with the
The attitude of the
people themselves told us we were welcome. Never were we anyplace but
when the people there came over to us to say a few words, whether it was
the Laundromat, a store or a café and they would visit briefly with
Rhonda.. It was hard to understand her speech at times but they ignored
this. It was not unusual for someone on the street to wave and call out,
I thought about the time
the robbers waited until we left the store to hold it up.
"Even the crooks in this
town are compassionate."
As I reflected on this my
mind went back to the pictures I had seen in the library of the early
day family who had the child in a wheelchair. Her family was dressed all
in black with clothing severely styled and plain. Their white collars
were all that gave relief to their costume. The people’s faces were
quiet and they were pleasantly smiling. They all had such gentle
countenances. "What a loving family this must have been," I thought to
myself. "And what a wonderful legacy they left to their daughter."
Once again I found myself
grieving at having to leave such a beautiful and kind environment. It
seemed I was continually staggering forward with a load that was too
heavy to carry.
When I had to tell Mrs.
Graves we were taking Rhonda out of school to move back to Oklahoma the
tears wouldn’t stop and I was so embarrassed.
"Maybe, you will be able
to return at some point in time." She was consoling me.
But, in my heart, I knew
there is never a way to return to what has been. The wheatfields would
go on producing, those fences for bull pastures to encircle herds,
someone on Mrs. Donahoe’s big tractor might go flying before a storm,
giant trucks to pick up crops of magnanimous proportions in my mind were
backed up to a large shed.
A kind lady in soft
flowered pink house dresses to match the pink of her cheeks carrying and
delivering food all about the countryside forever must be stamped on my
heart and mind. If the wind pulled and tugged at her white hair as she
stepped from the cab of her truck who was to bother to find fault.
If only there was a way
we could make a model of that town for all the nation so they could know
and make use of their achievements as a pattern. I suppose simple
solutions as Christ taught, "of these all, love is the greatest," are
often seemingly too easy and become overlooked.
And so we drop our head
for a moment, consider what has to be and then, we go forward, and
unlike Lot’s wife, we don’t look back.