Tuesday, May 1, 2012

keeping promises

When I was 12, I had a Beehive teacher with a secret. (12-year-old young women in the church youth group are called "Beehives")
I found it fascinating that she claimed she couldn't tell us, or she might be hunted down and prosecuted.  She told us we would have to wait 25 years before she could divulge her classified information.  How exciting!  My teacher was a former spy.  Or something.  I never forgot, and as it turns out, she has a pretty good memory, too.
She sent me a card when I was preparing to leave on my mission. (I was 22... and living in a different state.) She promised our little class (there were five of us) that she would make us each a quilt when we had our first babies.  She was a little late in tracking me down, but sure enough, a lovely quilt showed up in my mailbox when my second child was born.  From time to time, I would get a Christmas card, but mostly the years have gone by, and I've gone on to have a very full life since the days when I was twelve and learning to crochet misshapen potholders and experiment with make-up.
Recently, I thought about her.  In this amazing world of information and technology, it wasn't very hard to track her down anew.  I sent her a message, short and sweet; something to the effect of
"surely it must be time to reveal your secrets?"
Within a couple of weeks, a thick envelope arrived in the mail with a fascinating tale.  It started with 
"SO... years later and you think my security clearance signature should have expired.  Hmmmmm..."
It went on, in lengthy detail to tell her story.  I LOVE it.  I will share just a small paragraph with you:
"I became proficient in the WORLD of maps.  My favorite thing at the time was when we'd get a new batch of maps from USSR and compare them with the old ones.  Often a whole mountain range either popped up new or was missing--lakes either disappeared or were formed, etc. - and then folks were sent out to see what mysterious military site was being created in that area, or U-2s were sent to take an over-head peek."
It's been 35 years since I sat in those folding chairs at church in Colorado, and the letter was SO worth the long wait.
EVERYONE has a story.
I love how our stories intertwine and impact one another.
I love that my teacher kept her promises.
Having our paths weave around each other again is a treasure.


shirlgirl said...

What a wonderful story!

LL said...

Cute story!
I did something similar. When I was a YW leader in Utah, YEARS ago...I had all the YW write a letter to themselves and where they hope to be in 5 years.
I then mailed those letters out 5 years later, to each of them. Of course I mailed them from MA, something I hadn't expected in my 5 year future :-)
I love connections like that, so glad you were able to find her. Such a treat!

Jo Jo said...

Share that package with me!

Doran & Jody said...

Oh how neat!

Becky said...

Something I never knew about you. Very cool.