This I Believe

Gwynette - Sumter, South Carolina
Entered on January 22, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I Believe in Soul Mates

I believe in soul mates. No, I am not referring to the “You complete me!” or the “the kind of love that only a few ever experience in a life time!” soul mates. I mean a true, God cut from the same soul’s cloth soul mate. True soul mates may never meet, but their lives parallel in almost every way.

I will be 40 years old next month. As I looked into the mirror this morning and noticed the shiny strands of grey hair breaking its way through the long locks on my head, I believe that there was a 39-year old woman in Boise, Idaho, noticing the same thing. Suddenly, she felt a little panicked, a little rushed to decide how she was going to live out the next 40 years of her life.

As I put my five year old and my three year old into the van (it screams “married with kids”) this morning to take them to school, I told myself to remember to tell my little girl, Taylor…

…that you loved her; she’s such a kind little girl, and did you say that you loved her already because your heart would rip in half if she experienced one ounce of the loneliness that mirrored your childhood. I believe a Jamaican father held on to his little boy’s hand a bit longer as other children ran into the school. I could hear him saying as he looked into child’s eyes, “You are smart. You are brave. You are the best little boy in this school,” and when he let go of that tiny hand, he thought, “Did you tell him that he was the best little boy?”

When I began my job today, I realized it was just a job, not my purpose. I did it with gratitude and diligence, but I left unfulfilled. I believe there was a 39-year old New Yorker boarding the subway at the end of the day. She was sad by the fact that the thought of getting back into bed was the highlight of that same day, almost everyday. With a stifling habit, she imagined her “other life” being the mother and wife she was meant to be while living her passion as a visionary writer, being fresh air to a dying world. It kept her awake in bed at night.

When I carried my kids and my take-home work into the house, I believe there was a Georgia woman who chose to sit on the couch and watch “Cars” with her kids when clothes needed cleaning, dishes needed washing, and take- home work needed working.

I believe a man in Iraq laid his little ones in bed with him because “tomorrow is not promised to us.” Whether there be car bombs or car accidents tomorrow is not promised. Therefore, my soul mates and I, cut from God’s same cloth, face the mirror and, with good faith and high hopes, continue to plan and pray for what is not promised.

Gwynette Taylor Waters, Educator and Literacy Coach, at Sumter High School,

Sumter, South Carolina