Suffered and Survived

Several weeks ago I attended an open house at the Underground Freedom Center featuring author Sharon Draper. She is a former CPS teacher and author of one of my favorite books to read with students, Tears of a Tiger. Once I received the invitation to this event I knew I would be in attendance. I really enjoy many of Sharon Draper's books and on this night she would be talking about Copper Sun and how we can use the book in our classrooms.

I arrive at the Freedom Center and I am greeted by free parking and lite refreshments. Nice!!!! That was equivalent to rolling out the red carpet for me. Well maybe not the refreshment, I am working on taking somethings to the next level. As I am sipping on my soda and nibbling on my refreshments I can see the Ohio River and the hustle and bustle of rush hour traffic, all while the sun is setting. What a gorgeous scene. That moment was created just for me.

Awhile later we are encouraged to join Sharon Draper in the theater. Mrs. Draper is such a vibrant and interactive speaker and I felt like I had been on some of her journeys with her. During her talk with us there was a point that she brought up that has stayed with me. Often when we talk about our history we talk about those who suffered and died. Mrs. Draper stated that she is here because of those who suffered and survived. Wow!!!

Like many I have been blessed to know my grandparents on both sides and I can remember as a little girl spending time with my great-grandmother. The family gatherings at my great-grandmother's were always huge and eventful. Sometimes I think about what my family had to endure for me to be who I am today. Whenever I take on a great task I think about my mother and father, and their parents, and my great-grandparents. In that family tree are intelligent people of faith. There are teachers, my sister and I are 3rd generation Sunday School teachers, builders, nurses, and incredible thinkers in our family.

Opportunities are provided for me because someone paved the way for it to be possible. I know that there was a great deal of suffering also in that family tree and because they survived I can too.

Paying It Forward



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