God has blessed me in so many ways. However some of the blessings have come in unusual packages. Let me take you for a little trip down memory lane. After graduate school, I began work with the Head Start Program in Knoxville, TN. While working as a Master Teacher, I became friends with a lovely lady, named Fay Gluck. Fay worked as a social worker in the program. And Fay was Jewish. You see, being a "little girl" from Jefferson City, TN, I had never known a Jewish person much less been friends.
When my husband, Lee, took a job in Nashville, I prepared to leave my job in Knoxville. We got an apartment in Nashville, and Lee left me behind to work out a notice. Who came to my rescue? Fay. She invited me to stay in their home the remainder of time I would be in Knoxville. Well if I had never known a Jewish person, I certainly had not stayed in the home of one. Staying with Fay, her husband, Bob, and her 3 children was a wonderful blessing. Not only did I enjoy their company, I learned so much about Jewish faith and traditions. And I loved their cook, Viola. She knew how to prepare food and keep everything in the kitchen kosher. The first bar mitzvah I ever attended was Fay's son.
At last my employment with the Head Start Program came to a close, and I was given a farewell party. Fay and others had collected money for a going-away gift--a silver charm bracelet with two significant charms attached. One charm was the Head Start symbol. The other was a fish. Why a fish? Because Fay knew I was a Christian and respected me and my faith. Thirty-seven years later--and I still have those charms and they are both still special to me.
This past week my walk intercepted Fay's once again on a sadder note. I attend her husband's memorial service at the West End Synagogue here in Nashville. I had never attended a Jewish funeral service before just as I had never attended a Jewish bar mitzvah until I attended her son's so many years ago. I didn't get to talk with Fay. She might not have remembered me anyway. But I will never forget her and the kindness she showed me so many years ago. Thank you, Fay!
This story is not over. There is more to come soon. See ya then.