58 years have passed – But I still remember it well.
It is like a piece of my heart and with every beat I can feel it.
I dreaded this class. I dreaded everything about it. I dreaded the subject- I dreaded the professor- I did not like the book -and I especially did not like where I sat for the whole hour. How had I managed to pick a seat right in front of the podium? I was right in front of the speaker. I felt like the center of the lecture every moment of the class. It was time to get seated. It would all be over in 60 minutes. Even my stomach was protesting this hour. Maybe it wasn't the subject but the intimidation of the professor. She was so rigid and stern looking in her sensible shoes; hair pulled back in a tight bun; and her flaming red lipstick with her glasses slightly lowered on her nose. I was not prepared for the lecture that day. Or should I say not having a lecture that day. Instead we were given an assignment. We were to write a paper.
I do not have a problem with writing a paper on any subject I believed in or think interesting. Medicine has lots of interesting subjects about which to write. This professor did not choose one of those. Instead, she chose to assign us a paper dealing with the physical disease entity called "HOMESICKNESS". Was this really a necessary step in a psychology class? What good could come of it?
How could I possibly write about something that does not exist!! Since there was no such disease in my mind, I went about to prove her wrong...
I spent many hours trying to put on paper the nonsense of such a possibility. I wrote and wrote of the non-existence of any such disease. Then came the day the paper was due and I proudly turned in my masterpiece. I had proven how ridiculous the assignment was. The mind does not allow the body to conceive such nonsense!
Well ------- I stood alone. And I might add received a "C" on my paper. I had finished the assignment but not as required by the professor. I might also add the look I received from her was like a piercing glare. But- HEY--- finished --- done!! The assignment was over and on to better topics!!
Life went on and rotations came and went and it was time for graduation and planning a wedding.
Right about now you want me to write "and she lived happily ever after". While that is true; I must add to this story, or as Paul Harvey would say, here is the "rest of the story".
Six years after writing my infamous paper on homesickness, I am in a hospital bed after giving birth to my first child. What a wonderful day in my life. And yet --- why the tears? When my husband came in I clung to him crying and sobbing like my heart was breaking. To mention my husband was baffled is an understatement. All he could make out from my muffled sobs was my need to go home with him and the baby and get me out of the hospital because I was ---- HOMESICK. There I said it. For the first time in my life I said it. Or should I say, I felt it. So, this is what it felt like. It was not a good feeling. It was a feeling that needed to be shared with someone who returned your love. OK --- I get it now.
And you are smiling at a well learned lesson. But this is not the end of this story. Oh no!
Flash ahead with me six years. There are now two children and a little house in the suburbs with the love of my life. I have decided to go back to work part time at a local hospital that deals with communicable diseases. I made an appointment with the director of nurses. Can you guess who the director is? Yes- my psychology professor is now in the position to hire me as part of her staff. I must say things went quite well and she was so pleased to see me and the job was mine. We chatted and I enjoyed our short time together. In fact, I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit with her as an adult and not as a student.
As I started to leave she rose from her desk and gently remarked that I had caused her much concern with my paper on homesickness many years before. She had not forgotten the student who could not believe there existed such a disease. I smiled at her concerned look and mentioned she had forgotten the magic ingredient. Her puzzled look made me stop and face her and share with her that in order to feel homesickness one has to feel loved. One has to feel unconditional love. One needs to know how it feels to love someone so much that you would die for them and that love is returned. I must admit I was crying as I shared this with her. I could tell by her smile she understood.
“My brothers and sisters,[b]whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy,because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance;and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.” (James 1:2-5 NRSV)
What experiences in your life have brought wisdom to light?
Holy God, Illuminator of Wisdom,
You accompany me in my life, help me to see your wisdom.
In Your Holy Name, Amen
Posted on Fri, February 12, 2016
by Micah James filed under