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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 43


Leaving the area around Plano, Texas was a most difficult thing to do. I knew there was an earlier pioneering family who had lived in this windswept area with a disabled child because of the photographs I had seen of them. They must have been great believers in taking care of their own as well as being beloved by the people because everything about the town was established so the person in a wheelchair could function. The library was on a flat foundation and easy for Rhonda to use. The librarian gave us extra attention. She arranged for Rhonda to receive the talking books. All we had to do was drop them in a mail box from any location in the country. In a little while another set arrives in our mailbox.

In town the curbs were all flattened at the crosswalks so it was no problem to walk with the wheelchair.

The attitude of the people themselves told us we were welcome. Never were we anyplace but when the people there came over to us to say a few words, whether it was the Laundromat, a store or a café and they would visit briefly with Rhonda.. It was hard to understand her speech at times but they ignored this. It was not unusual for someone on the street to wave and call out, "Hello Rhonda."

I thought about the time the robbers waited until we left the store to hold it up.

"Even the crooks in this town are compassionate."

As I reflected on this my mind went back to the pictures I had seen in the library of the early day family who had the child in a wheelchair. Her family was dressed all in black with clothing severely styled and plain. Their white collars were all that gave relief to their costume. The people’s faces were quiet and they were pleasantly smiling. They all had such gentle countenances. "What a loving family this must have been," I thought to myself. "And what a wonderful legacy they left to their daughter."

Once again I found myself grieving at having to leave such a beautiful and kind environment. It seemed I was continually staggering forward with a load that was too heavy to carry.

When I had to tell Mrs. Graves we were taking Rhonda out of school to move back to Oklahoma the tears wouldn’t stop and I was so embarrassed.

"Maybe, you will be able to return at some point in time." She was consoling me.

But, in my heart, I knew there is never a way to return to what has been. The wheatfields would go on producing, those fences for bull pastures to encircle herds, someone on Mrs. Donahoe’s big tractor might go flying before a storm, giant trucks to pick up crops of magnanimous proportions in my mind were backed up to a large shed.

A kind lady in soft flowered pink house dresses to match the pink of her cheeks carrying and delivering food all about the countryside forever must be stamped on my heart and mind. If the wind pulled and tugged at her white hair as she stepped from the cab of her truck who was to bother to find fault.

If only there was a way we could make a model of that town for all the nation so they could know and make use of their achievements as a pattern. I suppose simple solutions as Christ taught, "of these all, love is the greatest," are often seemingly too easy and become overlooked.

And so we drop our head for a moment, consider what has to be and then, we go forward, and unlike Lot’s wife, we don’t look back.

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