Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Welcome to December
We have made it to December. Did that year go
by really fast or what? Remember when you were
little and it seemed like it took ages and ages for Christmas
to get here.
Just one tiny story, I have always loved to sing. But,
well, me and singing, well we just don't mix. I told my husband
the other day, that when I am living in heaven, and I have
a new body. I am going to ask God I can sing gospel like say
Aretha Franklin. Or my really favorite Koko Taylor. I would
love to sing like her.
Anyway, before there was a house here, the tree was here and
there was this rack that slid into a pickup truck so you could haul
stuff and it had bars on it and I loved it and used it like my jungle gym.
When December would come, I would sit on the top of it and sing
Christmas Carols. I would stare at the stars and imagine that it might
be the star that stood over the stable for the baby Jesus.
So one night I was sitting there singing my heart out. My grandparents
lived next door and I heard my grandpa come out on the back porch and
open the screen door, and he yelled, " Kim!! " " You Hurt??" I said, "
No, Papa," He said, " Okay, and turned around and went back in the house.
I climbed down very quietly, and went in the house. I gave up the idea of being
a famous singer. :) But you know in heaven someday...
I have found the best stories this week as I am going through my Christmas books
I don't think there are enough days in December to share all of the ones
that I have found. But I found one I just had to share today. It is from the book
"Stories from the Heart, compiled by Alice Grey"
This selection is written by Tim Kimmel. I have thought about it for two days.
so I thought I would share it with you.
In 1921 Lewis Lawes became the warden at Sing Sing Prison.
No prison was tougher than Sing Sing during that time. But when
warden Lawes retired some 20 years later, that prison had become a
humanitarian institution. Those who studied the system said the
credit for the change belonged to Lawes. But when he was asked
about the transformation, here's what he said: " I owe it all to my wonderful
wife, Catherine, who is buried outside the prison walls."
Catherine Lawes was a young mother with three small children when
her husband became the warden. Everybody warned her from the beginning
that she should never set foot inside the prison walls, but that didn't stop
Catherine! When the first prison basketball game was held, she went...walking
into the gym with her three beautiful kids and she sat in the stands with the
Her attitude was: "My husband and I are going to take care of these men and I
believe they will take care of me! I don't have to worry!"
She insisted on getting acquainted with them and their records.
She discovered one convicted murderer was blind so she paid him a
visit. Holding his hand in hers she said, " Do you read Braille?
"What's Braille?" he asked. Then she taught him how to read.
Years later he would weep in love for her.
Later, Catherine found a deaf-mute in prison. She went to school
to learn how to use sign language. Many said that Catherine Lawes
was the body of Jesus that came alive again in Sing Sing from 1921 to 1937.
Then, she was killed in a car accident. The next morning Lewis Lawes
didn't come to work, so the acting warden took his place. It
seemed almost instantly that the prison knew something was wrong.
The following day, her body was resting in a casket in her home,
three-quarters a mile from the prison. As the acting warden took
his early morning walk he was shocked to see a large crowd of the
toughest, hardest-looking criminals gathered like a herd of animals
at the main gate. He came closer and noted tears of grief and sadness
He knew how much they loved Catherine. He turned and faced the men,
"All right, men, you can go. Just be sure and check in tonight!" Then
he opened the gate and a parade of criminals walked, without a guard,
three-quarters of a mile to stand in line to pay their final respects to
Catherine Lawes. And every one of them checked back in. Every one!
" When I was in prison, you visited me."
I have thought about Catherine Lawes for two days now.
I hope this blesses you like it did me.
Welcome to December!