This I Believe

Donnalee - Beverly, Massachusetts
Entered on May 10, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: community

I was raised to be honest, giving, loving, and helpful. I grew up in a small New England town that I call my family. Yes, there is truth to the saying “It takes a village” I know this from experience.

You see, I began my journey in an unhappy household. A child of divorce, poverty, and pain. I was hungry for the “Leave it to Beaver” home life. I longed for the hopeful dreams that Walt Disney whispered each Sunday night. How colorful black and white television was in the sixties. I wanted my childhood to have the Cleaver comfort of family. My innocence fueled such promise in my dreams. It was then, that I invited a village to raise me.

Danny Thomas always had room on that big couch for one more. Sweet Andy Taylor taught me morals and manners. Good ole Rex Trailer, Major Mud and Captain Kangaroo taught me to laugh through the hurt. I had found such comfort in the loving influence each episode walked me through. I soon found that the world had even more promise when I experienced nurturance outside of my home. Teachers were ideal family members to adopt. My family was growing larger, stronger, and ever more promising, one soul at a time.

Through the years, I have savored the lessons of life and love that my quilted family had sewn. I have never forgotten the individuals in the village that raised me.

Teachers that fed my heart as well as my mind, guiding with comfort and praise, as well as helping to zipper up on cold days

School nurses that never ran out of band-aids, tissues and comfort

Lunchroom Ladies who made sure I ate enough

Crossing Guards that understood kids don’t always look both ways .

Shoe Salesman for making sure my shoes fit just right

School Bus Driver greets with a smile while she kept the bullies in the front seat.

Food Banks that understood the hard times

.The sweet old woman in church for her magic life savers that helped me remember not to kick the pews with my buckle shoes

My Girl Scout leader who would discreetly pay my weekly dues.

The Mail Man who would take a moment to encourage our sand pile quest to reach China

The many thirsty travelers that bought our lemonade for ten cents and left a shinny quarter tip

The Bookmobile and its invitation to explore the world around us

Bank tellers handing us lollipops that made running errands easier to swallow Life Guards that reminded me I was getting in over my head.

I am grateful for the many hands that came together as a family.

For this, I believe there is great fortune in our future when we can balance on the foundation of a village.