* YOU NEVER KNOW – by Jim Lawrence
You never know who you will encounter in this life. Sometimes we ‘luck out’ serendipitously and meet someone very special. I had the good fortune to meet Jane and her boyfriend, Victor while I spent a month in a cottage that I painted for my cousin, Pat, on the Florida coast.
Jane lives in a quiet ‘over 55’ community on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Although Jane is in her mid-sixties she still radiates with a positive energy! I feel very fortunate to have met her and Victor and to be able to call them friends.
Jane’s mother tried to self-abort Jane and gave her up for adoption shortly after she was born. Jane’s mother was a life-long alcoholic; incapable of nurturing a child. Jane grew up in a series of abusive foster homes.
Jane’s school experience was not much better than her home life. In the third grade, Jane’s dyslexia and undiagnosed ADD led to her extreme embarrassment. Her teacher made Jane use yellow construction paper and paste to make a ‘dunce cap’ and write the word DUNCE on it. Jane was told to sit in the back of the classroom, wear her new creation and to be QUIET! This occurred on an almost weekly basis for the whole school year.
As time went on Jane’s school career got even worse. At one school she was periodically paraded into other classes as an example of malnutrition. The school nurse would ‘excuse’ Jane from whatever class she was in at that time to take her into other classrooms and then announce to the other students,”Make sure that you eat so that you do not end up looking like Jane.
Jane went to college and met Marty and fell in love with him. Marty was a strapping man, well over six feet tall and handsome. Jane was only five foot two, perky, bright and full of life. They married and had all the visible ‘trappings’ of a successful marriage and family life.
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Jim Lawrence is a native of Providence, RI. He earned a BA degree in History at the University of Rhode Island in 1976. Jim has been a lifelong learner who enjoys traveling, studying Russian and Spanish and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He is an artisan in stone and wood who is writing his first non-fiction book about ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in an attempt to help other families cope .