I have never picked cotton.

>> Friday, May 13, 2016

Last post I spoke about getting out of your head and giving or volunteering to support others as a valuable, rewarding and altruistic benefit. Today I went to facilitate my weekly group of 3/4 women, at the assistant living home and enjoyed myself. I laughed and had some intriguing thoughts. First of all how amazing to have such high caliber of people in one room. One member worked for IBM, another for the State Department, another for the former Pan Am Airways, another for the FBI (makes sense for why she is the quietest one : ), another was a Teacher abroad during war times and another who worked in foreign Affairs and Aid Work in India and she is not of Indian Decent.

They make me laugh with their terminology from the past era. Instead of calling each other crazy, they say, "Your mind is lost with the wind".  Sometimes they walk in complaining and leave welcoming me back for next time. Sometimes they loose their train of thought using words unrelated to the topic. One member will always leave or "jump ship" once her son comes. Another will contribute with her comments and fall asleep in her wheel chair. One member is the handsome stud and the apple of most female members' eye. Then there is our talkative gal who is very open and we can always count on a fun group.

Each week they surprise me and I feel so blessed to know them. I discover today the talkative member had 4 husbands; two of domestic violence, the third left a suicide note and committed suicide and  the forth was a friend of her father who she did not love. The member who worked for the FBI did not disclose this information but it was confirmed by other members. She finally revealed it was true and did disclose that her son who she "jumps ship" for was adopted. As a matter of fact she adopted two children! The handsome member who every one has an eye on was passionately in love with his wife. He tells stories about their courtship and adventures before her death. Very romantic.

The Foreign Affairs and Aid worker spoke of her travels and humanism in how lessons in life come down to one thing. "Everyone wants to be loved" She always has a wise comment. One memorable group is when a female Caucasian member identified how times are so different, as she spoke about her advocacy to have colored people have summer camp like her and her family who lived in a very small town. She was able to have her demand met through harassing the Mayor, at the age of 12 years old. The integrated camp continues today in her town in a southern state. The highlight was talking about how she picked Cotton and realized I have no idea how to pick cotton and the process. Her nomenclature of words were unfamiliar and here I was a woman of color being taught by a group of mostly Caucasian people, what the process was for picking cotton. It was so sobering to me and we all seemed to connect on the thought that in this day an age some progress has been made. I could only be grateful to millions of people who were before me and endured pain for me to be able to say, "I have never picked cotton". That day the group was for me.