by John C. Westervelt
Summer events of 2014 set me to reminiscing. It was May, and I was in the three-year-old classroom at Asbury on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In June I began procedures to clear some debris from the hearing canal in my inner ear. My balance was better for a while before it got worse.
Six days a week I am on my treadmill first thing in the morning for twenty minutes of prayer. It was Saturday August 9, 2014. I set the timer for twenty minutes and began with my regular opening “Praise God, Love You Jesus, Thanks Holy Spirit.” I usually repeat this several times. I thank the Holy Spirit, because He has been generous in sharing thoughts that are the basis of stories. On this day the Holy Spirit began a conversation with me as I walked with my eyes closed. When I opened my eyes, two minutes remained on the timer.
I was reminded of the present poor performance of my aging balance system. It became clear to me that I was no longer able to work in the preschool classroom. As encouragement, He reminded me that I had taught 300 three-year-olds that Jesus loves them and how to safely cut with scissors.
Of course, my heart will ache as I miss the children and teachers. It is then that I remember the joy of twenty years of loving the children and teachers. That can never be taken from me in this world or the next. I felt a lot of spiritual love from the teachers and children in the rooms and halls of Asbury Preschool.
One of these teachers, Paula, had asked me so often over the years, “How can I help you?” that I let her take me to the doctor for the hearing canal procedures.
It was late Friday afternoon August 15th just before my son Paul would begin his commute from his Houston office to his home in Katy. But first he called me just to visit. He reminded me that his mother died on August 14, 1987. His son Brett, who was five, remembers Grandma Nelda well. Amy, who was two, likely does not.
I remember my decision to continue in two monthly bridge groups that Nelda and I enjoyed. I could host bridge for the pleasure of talking to women. One of the groups disbanded after several players died. The Jayne and Bill Mason bridge group continued until Jayne’s death in September 2014.
Amost every September throughout the 1990’s I vacationed with the Wesley Eight. The group consisted of my brother Wallace and his wife Barbara, George and Martha from Kansas, Jed and Jini from Vermont, my widowed sister Harriette, and me. All but two wives were a part of the youth group at Wesley church in Oklahoma City.
George and I were college roommates at OU and served as naval officers during the Korean War. I took leave to take a train ride from California to Oklahoma for the wedding of George and Martha. Martha became my friend. As we vacationed together in the nineties, this confident one made time for the two of us to visit alone. She sensed that I needed to share thoughts with a woman. George trusted both of us. Our platonic love grew. If you lose spousal love by death or separation, then it helps to discover platonic love.
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