Out of the Mouths of Babes

17 May

It was Sunday morning, on Mother’s Day.  I was wrapped in a blanket of depression.  Holidays are difficult, but especially this one.  Instead of focusing on my many blessings, I was despondent.  In the three years since my son died, I now have more good days than bad.  On Mother’s Day, I was missing him, instead of being grateful for my husband, my other sons, for the richness of my life, and for the incredible people I call friends.

Sunday Morning is my favorite weekend show to watch as I putter around.  There was a segment on a teacher.  You know that caught my attention.  She wasn’t a citizen, but was going through the process of becoming one.  She has to show her worth before she will be able to call herself an American.  She had become bogged down with paperwork to show her desirability.  I came in the room in the middle of the segment, so I can’t even tell you her name.  I went to the show’s web site in hopes of watching the entire clip, but couldn’t find a listing.

The story wasn’t about her quest for citizenship.  In the writing business, we’d call this a subplot.  This young woman teaches aerodynamics, and according to the interviewer, and the award she has recently received, one of the best in the United States.

The interviewer talked about how she inspires her students.  I got the impression she teaches at a tough school.  Yet, her students got up before the crack of dawn in preparation of an upcoming competition.  They finished eleventh in a field of over fifty competitors.

At the end of the segment they were interviewing one of her young students.  They must have asked him something about his teacher’s attempts at becoming a citizen.  This young boy, who couldn’t have been more than eleven, said, “Never give up.”

I was surprised at my reaction.  It was a punch to my stomach.  I caught my breath and tears pooled in my eyes.

He could have been talking to anyone.  His message was clear and to the point.

He was talking to me.   My life has taken a path I would not have chosen.  I’m trying to make the most of a horrific situation.  There are times I want to give up.

As we go through this journey, it’s easy to get discouraged.  It’s easy to look at what has gone wrong.  It’s easy to pull the covers over our heads.

No matter the obstacles thrown in your path, take a breath.  You can get around it.  It may take some work.  You may have to scale high mountains, or swim shark-infested waters, or deal with editor and publisher rejections.

We need to listen to that child.  “Never give up.”  Never give up on yourself, or your dreams.  Never give up.


Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Idaho


20 responses to “Out of the Mouths of Babes

  1. Liz Flaherty

    May 17, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    This was a saying that I had taped up on my desk so long the ink faded away, though I haven’t had to find my way around something as terrible as your loss. You have my sympathy and my admiration for hearing what that child had to say.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:32 PM

      It is a saying we need to hold onto. It’s easy to get discouraged and lose sight of your goals.

  2. Liz Fredericks

    May 17, 2012 at 6:21 AM

    We can’t often grasp in full what God wants from us, understand his plans, or embrace the low points as well as the high in this life he offers us. We can, however, absolutely presume God wants us to hear and hold the words of that child. And we can presume he intended that message, at that moment of time, to be a reminder to his children who need it. Just as you’ve been the vehicle for that reminder this morning. Thank you.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:36 PM

      Hi, Liz, sometimes we don’t want to listen to what God is telling us. You are so right about the understanding part. I my not like what has happened, but I am working to live.

  3. Meredith Allen Conner

    May 17, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    Lynn, I always know that I am going to come away inspired when I read your blog. I can’t imagine what you have gone through as a mother these past years. But your strength and determination are truly inspiring. Thank you.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      Meredith, thank you. Each and every day is a struggle not to give into the darkness. I remind myself how richly blessed I am, but there are days when my strength seems gone. I can do this, live without my child. I do have the strength. There are times I forget.

  4. Janis McCurry

    May 17, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    A great reminder. It’s too bad we often forget.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      We need to hold onto those words.

  5. johannaharness

    May 17, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Love you, Lynn. Mother’s Day is difficult for so many people, for a variety of reasons. My heart is with you as you never give up, as I know your heart is with all of us–and with that little boy. We’re connected even when we don’t see the strings. Maybe especially then.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:44 PM

      Mother’s Day is difficult in many ways. I see my own mother’s memory fading. Maybe it’s the changing landscape around us that causes the pain.

  6. ramblingsfromtheleft

    May 17, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Lynn, this broke my heart … not only because of what you must be going through … but because I saw my mother go through the same. It is said that losing a child is unnatural, that we should out live our kids … but life does not always follow these adages.

    That boy was so right, “Never give up.” Mother’s Day more than other days is hard if you have lost a child … remember that everyone here is with you in spirit. I will keep you in my heart 🙂

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:48 PM

      Ramblings, thank you. It is unnatural, yet this happens all the time. I will never make peace with the death of my son. I have to learn to live with it.

  7. marsharwest

    May 17, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    No one should have to experience this, Lynn. I’m so sorry you’ve had to. A former CP lost her grown son, and I saw how even years later this still affected her. My current CP and her husband haven’t been able to have children. She also lost her mother and grandmother within the last two years. Mother’s Day isn’t one of her favorite days, either. My heart goes out to you and thank you for the message of hope–to keep on, keeping on and never give up.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      Marsha, giving up it the worst thing to do. When my son died, I worried I would lose my laughter, my sheer joy of living. I didn’t. I celebrate that. Dealing with the blows (when I say blows, I mean killer punches) is part of living. Despite the pain, we have to make the best of our lives. This is it.

  8. stephanieberget

    May 17, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Thank you, Lynn for an inspiring post. I hope you know how I feel about you. I like you as a person, but more importantly, I know my son would not be where he is today (happy and settled) without your influence. Never give up, he’s a testament to that.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Steph, thank you. You know how I feel about our young man. I love him.

  9. maryvine

    May 17, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    I am sitting here thinking about what your students would say about you. Without a doubt I believe you are a wonderful teacher and have touched so many lives. Perhaps now your students will say of you the same thing. “Never give up.”

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:58 PM

      Mary, touching young people’s lives is a blessing. We are there, making a difference.

  10. Clarissa Southwick

    May 18, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Thanks for an inspirational blog, Lynn. Here’s wishing you many more good days than bad.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 24, 2012 at 9:59 PM

      Clarissa, there are more good days. Thank you.


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