Saturday, July 13, 2019

A Reason Is Different than an Excuse

Site of Kenan Family Literacy Project
“What do you mean you’re not coming back?” I couldn't believe it when Mildred asked me that. 

Hadn't I just told her? 

Why can’t she see?  I don’t have a choice.



***


On the first day of school Mildred told us that attendance was important. She said that a reason to be absent was different that an excuse. "A reason is something you don't have control over. Excuses you do."

On the first day of school, I had a list of reasons I'd have to quit.
     When they see I'm not smart enough to get a GED.
     Before they figure out there's something wrong with me.
     When our trailer gets set up again.
     Before I push their daddy too far.

So many mornings I got on the bus with my kids thinking that day would be my last. I wanted to go back to what I knew. I'd reached my limit. Not only that, I was asking for trouble. Their daddy had made it clear. I had to quit. 

I dealt in emergencies. Mostly trying to avoid them. I was good at it and I knew I was pushing my luck. I felt it in my bones. I was running out of time.

How it irritated me when Mildred didn't seem to understand. I wanted her to agree with me. I needed her to agree with me.

﹏﹏

"May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears." - Nelson Mandela

﹏﹏

So while I was focused on more important things, like when to quit, RL was busy learning, making plans, and following through. 

It would be awhile before I did the same.

***


1 comment:

  1. Love this...you wanted to go back to your "normal". You are one BRAVE woman.

    ReplyDelete

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