Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Morning Blues (Part I.)

For all intense purposes, I am a church girl. My mother basically gave birth to me on a church pew. Some of my earliest memories include the backdrop of a church building, church furniture, church music, and/or church folks. From Sunday morning service, to choir rehearsal, to Vacation Bible School, to midnight musicals, to three o’clock services, to Sunday evening services; my mother had me there. (Somehow, my mother wasn't a Sunday School person.)

And the truth is, no matter how much we went, it didn’t bother me. Church was apart of my culture. I didn’t see it as a chore. I just saw it as a way of life. And I pretty much thought that “church” contributed to the overall happiness and balance of a person. It wasn’t until later that I changed my position on “church”, and adjusted how I would see “church” for the rest of my life.

When I was eighteen-years-old, I left my mother’s house for the second time to go off to school. But instead of going to a boarding school for the blind to complete my high school education, this time I was leaving to go to college with the sighted folks. When I got to University of North Texas, I was not emotionally prepared for what was waiting on me. It was there that I experienced the deepest, darkest depression that I had ever endured in my young life. I was so depressed that everyone else seemed to have a grasp on their life. But I seemed to be so lost, so dependent, so unsure about life and my purpose in it.

I immediately joined the gospel choir on campus. Since I had been in church all my life, I did have enough “Jesus” in me to know that I needed the Lord, especially in the time of any type of crisis. And I was certainly in a crisis.

**Stay tuned… I’ll post the rest tomorrow or later today.**

3 comments:

Pammy said...

Angie, that was funny, Sunday I did a little reminiscing of my own,while setting in service. I remembered singing in Voices of Praise, attending church, and Campus Impact but I always felt like something was missing. I knew God and decided to let him be the driver of my life at a young age, but the push of my parents in the background just wasn’t there at UNT. I had to make a conscious decision and maintain the initiative to keep the lines of communication open with God, hence the importance of training up a child in the Lord so that when they grow old they still know to whom to turn in a crisis. UNT was a true challenge and I, like many others should have stayed on my knees until they rubbed bone to bone, but as I watched my daughter sing of his glory, my heart was enlightened to know that she too will know to whom to turn when all mayhem begins to approach. I’m looking forward to your completion of your entry…I’m always looking for a good read.

Love to you always,

Pam

Gary said...

Would you consider mentioning my newly-published memoir on your blog? I would be happy to exchange blog feeds as well.

Seven Wheelchairs: A Life beyond Polio was recently released by The University of Iowa Press.

The memoir is a history -- an American tale -- of my fifty year wheelchair journey after being struck by both bulbar and lumbar poliomyelitis after a vaccine accident in 1959. The Press says Seven Wheelchairs gives "readers the unromantic truth about life in a wheelchair, he escapes stereotypes about people with disabilities and moves toward a place where every individual is irreplaceable."

Other reviewers have called Seven Wheelchairs "sardonic and blunt," "a compelling account," and "powerful and poetic."

I hope you can mention Seven Wheelchairs on your blog. We all live different disability stories, I know, but perhaps if you find the memoir worthwhile, you might want to recommend the book to others who are curious about what polio or disability in general.

Of course, the book is also available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

--
Gary Presley www.garypresley.com
SEVEN WHEELCHAIRS: A Life beyond Polio
Fall 2008 University of Iowa Press

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Hi Angie, Joining a choir was very smart move. I can't think of a better safe harbor for young college student with disabilities, and until now, it never occurred to me. Thanks for sharing this.

Hmmm, think I'll put on some of my Sam Cooke gospel songs now.