When I was living with my mother I was very young. I remember going to a preschool. I also remember my mother working for a while there, but I’m not sure what she did. I then remember going to Kindergarten. I had the same teacher that my brother had 8 years before, Mrs. McPhilips. She was so patient and kind. She must have known when my Mom had gotten really sick. One day she handed me a bag full of books. When I got back to my grandparents’ home, we discovered they were bible stories. My grandmother read them to me at bed time and the one i made her repeat was the story about Jesus walking on the water. The illustrations were great. and the message I got as a child was that if I focused on Christ I could do anything.
I’m not sure when my mother first went into the hospital and we went to stay with our grandparents, waiting for her to get better. I do remember that we were still waiting when my grandparents enrolled me into 1st grade at the only safe school that would take me in the Newark/Irvington/South Orange area in NJ. It was a Catholic School, Our Lady of Sorrows. The teacher somehow knew my grandfather.
Our Lady of Sorrows was a good experience for me. I made friends, due to all the candy I brought with my lunch and shared. The teachers all knew my story and I guess felt sorry for me. There was a very kind nun who was a religion teacher who would give me a medallion every year around Easter or Christmas and told me to give it to my father and that she was praying for him. I said thank you, went home and added it to the collection. I figured my father would not even know what it was.
I don’t remember studying. I remember doing some homework and I especially remember 3rd grade when my grandmother sat with me everyday after school, making me write my times tables over and over until I could recite them to her. But usually, I just passed my classes, and my grandparents would sign the report card without a word.
By the time I went to go live with my cousins, I had no idea how to study or do reports or anything. How Judy and Michael dealt with me, I’m not sure. They did a lot of work on me.
This is just a peek at my faithful education. My grandparents believed strongly in education, my great grandparents, my parents and my cousins all had great faith in education.
I think it’s interesting how faith and education intertwine. How has it intertwined in your life?