Every day is a treasure in itself, but we mark certain days as extra special. Sometimes they are called birthdays, anniversaries, or the day we won the lottery (I haven’t had that last one yet!).
Some days are memorable for sad reasons. Someone important to us died. Someone was in a horrible accident and their lives were never the same again. There are those of us who can tell you where we were the day JFK was shot. And most Americans can tell you where we were on that September 11th day, when the towers came down.
June 27th holds significance for me.
On a fall day in 1925, a 19 year old girl named Pearl took the train from her home in Rincon, Georgia to Fairfax, South Carolina. Having recently graduated from college, she went to Fairfax to begin her first teaching job.
She lived in a boarding house. She and the other residents shared their meals together at a family style table. The first night she was there, she met a young postal employee, named Horace.
In the following months, they would speak or have casual conversations, as they passed. Both dated other people. But the time came in the spring of the following year, that Horace asked Pearl to go for a ride with him. She did. They liked each other.
Before long, he was spending his evenings on the porch, helping her grade papers. In those days, movies at “the picture show” were advertised by the posting of hand bills on telephone or light poles. Horace posted the handbills as a favor to a friend. He jokingly said he thought Pearl fell in love with him because she thought he owned the Pal Theater. She insisted she knew different.
She also denied his other often repeated story that they lived together for nine months and then got married. Even though it was somewhat true, since they lived at the same boarding house, Pearl thought it sounded most improper.
Horace said there was no privacy in the boarding house and so he had to go to the post office and call Pearl on the phone to talk to her. But he managed to find a moment of privacy one evening and asked her to marry him. She said yes, pending her father’s approval.
Horace did win the instant approval of Pearl’s parents. Horace and Pearl were married in the parlor of Pearl’s home in Rincon, Georgia on … you guessed it … June 27, 1926. They were the Loves of each other’s lives until Pearl’s death on October 12, 1997 put a comma in what I am sure is an Eternal Love.
Horace and Pearl Priester were my much loved parents.
A Whole New World
In June, 1972, I moved to Lexington, Kentucky. On June 27, 1972, I began working at the VA Medical Center as a nurse. I would continue to work there for the next 30 years. I began my VA career as the only night nurse on a building of four wards of psychiatric patients.
Each ward was huge. Beds were lined up in close proximity to each other, row upon row. Both acutely and chronically ill mental patients paced the narrow hallways or sprawled in heavy chairs in the dayroom. Some patients sat or paced on screen porches that were attached to the wards. Almost all smoked. It was not unusual to hear shrieks as patients responded to voices in their heads.
I received two pieces of advice on my first day. I reported, looking professional in my white uniform and nursing cap. An experienced nurse took me aside and said quietly, “You’ll be wanting to get that thing off your head before someone knocks it off.” I did. It was the last time I wore a nursing cap, except for an “all caps day celebration” years later.
When I questioned something a nursing assistant did, another nurse took me aside and said, “You need to understand how it works. If you want to survive here, you do what the nursing assistants say. If you don’t, one night you’re going to find yourself in a bad situation with these patients and all your help will be gone to the bathroom at the same time.”
Fortunately, the nursing assistants with whom I worked were very good to the patients and to me! They respected me and I respected them.
June 27, 1972 began my VA career. On June 27, 2002, I retired from the VA. I was thirty years older and wiser than the young girl who entered the psychiatry wards in the early 70s. I learned much at the VA. Perhaps the most important lesson was that people who are identified as being crazy are sometimes the most sane. It is the people on the outside, who have not yet been identified as crazy, that you have to watch out for!
Both of my nephews got married in June, one of them close to June 27th, the other on June 27th. My parents smiled.
At a time of intense remorse and repenting for the “sins of my youth,” I told God every detail of what had happened and what I had been thinking and feeling. In the midst of my outpouring of grief, I heard God speak. (Note: God does not speak to me in an audible human like voice. I simply “hear” Him as new thoughts in my mind.)
He said, “I know.” There was no condemnation or arrogance in His Voice. There was no impatience with His Listening to me tell Him everything. It was a simple assurance that He knew.
How could He know? Because He had been there, in every moment, guarding, guiding and letting me make choices. He had rejoiced with me, grieved with me, allowed me to make choices, and put up His Hands lovingly to save me after I made some disastrous choices. He understood because He had been with me, as He was at the second I finally understood He was there.
That one realization changed my life. I knew it was not a discovery to keep all to myself. I wanted to share. Since I am a writer, it is not surprising that God decided to allow me to write about Him.
I never picked a specific date to begin to write. But, as it happened, He had already picked the day I would begin to write about the Wonder of His Presence.
A New Journey Begins!
On June 27, 2014, I posted on Facebook, the news that my husband and I had signed a contract to write a book, If You Only Knew … Who I AM! On that day of beginning to write, I quoted John 14:20 in the introduction to the book.
“On that day, you will realize that
I am in my Father,
and you are in me,
and I am in you.”
John 14:20 (NIV2011)
I added, “That day is this day! May you discover with Joy The One Who lives inside you.”
The Journey Continues!
After an amazing year of Discovery with The One, we completed the book. Even though we finished the book in mid-May, a series of interferences delayed our submission of the book. Finally, everything came together and we submitted the book to the publisher. It was then we realized that we were doing so on June 27, 2015.
The seeds have been planted. We wait expectantly to see where they will come up!
It is interesting how the date, June 27th, has coincided with the events of my life and others. However, I am thankful I don’t have to wait for one day out of the year to experience the wonderful Provision of God.
This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it!
Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)