Monday, October 8, 2007

Teachers and Mothers

We had breakfast yesterday with my uncle, Bob Ramsay, his wife, Marilyn, and her son, Chuck. Bob was a teacher and a farmer, and good at both because he loved his students and his land. I can remember seeing his tall frame stalking across the alfalfa field as he irrigated. And I remember his kindness to us after my father died. He tried to teach me to drive a manual transmission and he gave me away at my wedding. In later years, he did not flinch when a very young Philip was irresistibly drawn to his model steam-driven tractors and his wonderful model train layout. He taught auto mechanics, so he and Philip would probably be buddies now if we lived closer.

As I wrote in the blog, he used proceeds from his farm to donate public land in honor of my family. What an unbelievable legacy that will resonate through time. I thought a lot about words on headstones and decided 'teacher' would be one of the words that would say the most about the life and goodness of the person named there. Bob should have that, but he has given even more.

The only significant word I could claim is "mother". While that is a good word, it is not enough. Mothers are driven to give, to make their children into good people. And, unfortunately, a few who could claim the word don't deserve the honor it should command.

I am eager to get back to Birmingham to plunge myself into MYO, MCYO, and creating the Random School. You should have seen the excitement and comprehension on my sister's face when she watched the SBYO video and realized what we want to do. If we can create this music program close to what we envision, we will have done something worth a good word or two.

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