I have a really bad long term memory. So, when this photo was sent to me a few months ago I was thrilled, thrilled to have one more reminder of what a peaceful and happy childhood I had.
My parents had been appointed missionaries in 1967ish to go serve the Lord in Chile. I was born there in Concepcion. Two years after I was born the people of Chile elected a Socialist President. The political situation was very difficult and began to get quite dangerous, therefore my parents, along with many other missionaries, left the country believing they would never return again. By the time they left I was 3 (or close to it) and spoke mostly Spanish. We moved to Memphis, TN. my mother's home town. I attended Kindergarten there and all I remember is dressing up as an Indian and my milk spilling all over the floor because my Thermos lid was not on correctly. Oh yea, and getting stung by a bee.
As the Lord would have it, things changed drastically in Chile (military Coup, bla, bla, bla) and my parents were then re-appointed to Chile, only this time we would be living in the fabulous city of Vina del Mar (Vineyard of the Sea) You can check it out HERE. It would have had to have been late 1974 or early 1975. At any rate, I was 5, and in March of 1975 I would be starting 1st Grade. Because missionaries leave the country of service every 3-4 years to come to the States on furlough for 7-12 months (we always came every 3 years for 6-7 months) they thought that somewhere along the way I may have to be held back, so they put me in 1st Grade as a 5 year old.
So here I am, a "Chilena" that doesn't remember a lick of Spanish after being in the States for a year and a half and headed to a brand new school, hasn't met a soul and doesn't know what she is getting into. This photo was taken, however, that first day of school.
Tell me, what foreign little 5 year old looks like THAT on the first day of school? The lady holding my hand is Ms. Margaret, the Headmaster of Saint Paul's School. The beautiful lady on the right of the photo is my mother. I give all the credit to her. This is a woman full of confidence, joy and reassurance that her precious daughter is in the hands of God and in the hands of these loving committed teachers. As I look onto this picture I just can't help but smile and rejoice at the wonderful life and the wonderful parents that he gave me.
If you never had a chance to, I wish you could have met my mother. Anyone who has met her can tell you that she was the most beautiful, person, inside and out. Here are a few quotes from friends and coligues:
"I'm not the only one who loved her cooking and remembered her beautiful kindness" (S.D.A)
"She was such a strong core of that loving family." (B.P.M)
"Every time I would see you mom she reminded me of Grace Kelly. She was so pretty, her voice was so soft, and she always smelt like roses." (G.B)
"I remember spending the night at your house and waking up early so she could take us somewhere special and she would turn on the bathroom heater for us so we wouldn't get cold." (K.R.T)
"It's impossible to forget her beautiful and permanent smile, her kindness, her calmness and her soft voice. (P.P)
"In her eyes all you could see was love and tenderness." (A.H)
As you can tell, not only her children, but ALL arise and call her blessed.